Lessons I am Learning...and other Random Thoughts!

It seems that the world as we have known it has turned upside down in recent weeks. Suddenly and without much warning, COVID-19 has become all the talk. It has been dramatized, politicized, publicized, criticized, subsidized, and immortalized in the world, nation, and in our state. This has quickly become serious business. We had a huge Revival at FBC Lexington, TN at the end of February 2020, and I never would have thought that within a month we would be doing online worship only services. Wow! Everyone and everything all around us is shutting down, closed, or following very strict guidelines and new policies. Yes...we are living in a different world.

With that in mind, I have learned or been reminded of several things, and I have a few important questions that are plaguing my thoughts. First, let me tell you a few things I have learned or I have been reminded of over the past few weeks:

When I say that, I can hear the collective yawn of the masses. Yet, I must make this statement because I have seen so many people (some who claim to be Christians) who are not acting like, living like, talking like, or even thinking like this statement is true. Still, what I know from God's Word and personal experience is that God is still in control. We are the ones who are not in control! My friends is the real problem, isn't it? We strive to be in control and now we are truly having to live by faith and trust in the Lord. Seems like a great recipe for repentance and renewal to me. Sounds like the potential for a Great Awakening in our city, county, state, and nation!

Everything I love to do as a pastor of God's people is almost at a stand still. I am a people person and an extreme extrovert. I do not thrive with words like "quarantine" and "social distancing." I am an up close, hands on, team-driven leader. I usually only have one speed....wide open! I care for and worry about our church family and the struggles they are facing both individually and collectively. 

Also, making decisions during a time like this is excruciating because you are always second guessing yourself while trying to do what is right for everyone around you. I can only imagine what it must be like to be one of our Mayors, Governor Lee, or President Trump. The struggle is real.

Often you hear people say, "I go to _________ church" or "Let's go to church." By these statements  they refer to the church as a building. Well, as I write these thoughts, I am sitting in the "church building" and guess what? The church is not here, except for 1 small part of it...me. The rest of the church is at work, at home, or quarantined watching NETFLIX. The church is the people of God. Right now, the church is dispersed throughout the county and all over the region. The church has an opportunity to make a difference for Jesus starting right there in your home where you can get reacquainted with your family members. The church has the opportunity to show and share the love of Jesus with those all around us who are hurting and hopeless in the midst of this chaos. As the meme that is on social media boldly says, "The church has finally left the building." 

Honestly, it is refreshing to see church leaders and church members having to be creative to hold worship, Bible studies, and do ministry. Finally, we are out of the box and hopefully will never go back into it. 

This is in no way a fatalistic statement, but a reality check. I am afraid we are in for several more weeks of what we are experiencing now. There will be people affected by all of this in almost every family, either by the virus itself or financial loss, job loss, vacation loss, and even mental health issues. In some ways, we should not be surprised. This is just what happens during these types of events. Still, we must realize that there will be an end to all of this and we must persevere. 

The amazing resurrection of Jesus from the dead that first Easter reminds us that we are a people who living with hope in the midst of hopelessness. We live with help in the midst of helplessness. We are forgiven and we are not forgotten. As a result, we should share this hope with others.

For years I have asked myself and others a series of questions for which we will finally get solid answers. Here are the questions: IF THE FBC, LEXINGTON CLOSED ITS DOORS, WOULD ANYONE NOTICE? WOULD ANYONE CARE? WOULD IT HAVE AN AFFECT ON OUR CITY AND COUNTY BECAUSE WE ARE NOT BUSY OUT IN THE HARVEST FIELD? 

These are sobering questions, aren't they? I pray that the people, the ministry, and the influence of FBC makes a difference "across the street, across the states, and across the seas."  I pray you will be a part of those who make a difference both now and in the days to come!     


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