Written by: Marvin Zehr
The theme for our Lenten series this spring was “Deep Calls to Deep.” It called us to develop a stronger commitment to the life and actions of Jesus. What does that mean to me? How do I do that?
So, I start to self–exam my motives, thoughts, words and actions to see how they align with what Jesus did. Certainly, that is daunting and embarrassing. It is especially difficult when I prefer not to be challenged or disturbed in my comfort zone. Why do I need to change? What difference does it make?
In my study of the book, “Who Will Be a Witness” by Drew Hart, I stumbled onto a provocative statement that has me shocked and troubled. “Whether evangelical or mainline,
every Sunday Christians pack the pews, passively expecting to receive a therapeutic teaching that will help them go about their American lives with ease while leaving their ethical commitments and social witness untouched.”
Is this true? I sure hope this is not us at Lowville Mennonite. Certainly COVID19 has changed us. I pray our de- sire to return to in–person church it is not like the Israelites want- ing to “go back to Egypt”. It is very true that church is not and will not be the same. It will cause us to ask tough questions about programming and our commitment. We will be challenged in our return. How will we handle any change?
The magazine, Anabaptist World, has a number of thoughtful articles that call us to do the hard work this pandemic will leave in its wake. Will we realize that church not a one–day therapy session on Sunday morning? The Spirit of Christ is with- in each of us. It is that magnetic draw that calls us to connect and to share the generous faith, hope and LOVE we are afforded. God is with us and with others; this makes sense.
I am blessed by people (saints) who have been models for me. Folks who have and continue to live like Christ. You includ- ed. I only pray that God uses me as well. Yet, there is still much more I must learn on this journey.
If we commit to a deeper call of being Christ– like to others, perhaps we will grow even closer. How will we demonstrate our deep care and love for others who are not part of us? I’m ready to dive in and touch the bottom.