Our guest blog is from Jonathan Thomas
When lock down started, as a pastor of church with a good number of older folk, I realised that two things were going to be true of them over the coming months: they would be lonely, and they would be desperate for good teaching. So, I decided to start a daily devotion on YouTube. Nothing fancy or in -depth, just a few minutes reflection on the Bible. An encouragement.
Both young and old in the church have valued it. It seems to give us a sense of unity each day. Also, unexpectedly, friends from around the world started listening in too. One of the things about the internet is that distance is no longer a barrier. And so, with the knowledge that more people are watching, I have started to try and think through sound quality, increasing the file size and making the film a bit more interesting than my wonky nose.
But as I realised that this time of isolation was going to be longer than first anticipated, I started to wonder what I should share each day. That is, should we be considering something specific at this time. Or to put it more bluntly, are there particular things that God wants us to think about.
You see, Covid-19 is the biggest and most significant interruption that our generation has ever known.Tweet
We’ve all been breathing the air of bigger and better. We are travelling more, working more, and spending time on social media more. Everything is more. Our world has been speeding up to a pace in which many of us could no longer stop and think. The art of meditation and reflection had all but extinguished….unless it was done for an Instagram post.
I wonder, before 2020, had we started to miss true life?
God is going to use this time for our good. He can bring good out of all things, even bad. The question is, how? My greatest fear is that once we find a vaccine life will go back to normal. Like someone who loses weight too quickly, vows they will never eat another kebab, but then is back in the take-away within weeks. Whilst we are all saying the world will be different….will it? The world is simply the result of our actions, and our actions are simply the reflection of our hearts.
Has the coronavirus changed our hearts?
Could it be that God is going to use this time to help us re-set our faith, and therefore our lives?Tweet
I feel it is my duty as the pastor of a local church to help my fellow church members start to work that out. I don’t want to look back to 2020 and say, ‘hey, I learnt to make vlogs and make home-made humous’ (I haven’t). I want to look back to this year and say, ‘God completely changed me….from the inside out.’
God wants us to experience a fresh faith in these extraordinary times. The Lord wants us to look out for wondrous things in the lock down. Our Father wants us to ponder His ways in the pandemic. I’ve been reflecting and I think there 13 things that God wants us to perceive anew in this pause. There are probably a lot more. Some of them are obvious like creation and compassion. Others may be a little unexpected, like conviction and crying. Some are welcome like children and comedy (often together).
Over the next 3 weeks I hope to use my little 5 minutes each day to help us pause and ponder. This time has created a window of opportunity to spend time every day with my church. Time that would have been filled with commuting, spending, wasting and whatever else we used to do. But now, for however long it lasts, people are willing to tune in every day.
I pray I don’t waste it.
Listen to the new series 13 things God wants us to ponder in the pandemic. The series will stat Monday 4th May at Cornerstone Chuch Youtube channel.
Jonathan Thomas is married with 3 children, and is the pastor of Cornerstone Church, Abergavenny. His series ‘Intentional Interruption’ can be found on the church YouTube Channel.