Peace and Presence …

I had a fanny pack that I once wore while riding my bike.  Cycling down a hill, I felt it unclasp, and I thought, “I need to grab it before it comes off and falls into a wheel.”

I woke up an hour later in the ER.  I had performed the dreaded cycling endo into a faceplant. (Fanny pack swings into front wheel; front wheel stops and bike catapults; and Pastor Grant flies forward onto his face)

Graphic description but I recovered.

Many of us have a similar experience with the Covid crisis.  Our economy was the best ever, your life was the best ever, and our church was the best ever.  There were a lot of ‘best evers’ in our lives.

A sudden stop!

The entire world does the dreaded endo into a faceplant!  Times of crisis have existed forever but there has never been anything like this faceplant. I have Zoom meetings with Russians and Filipinos all talking about the same experience.

The Bible predicts worldwide ‘endos’ — Jesus says in Matthew 24, “They were eating, and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage.” Paul writes, “While people are saying ‘peace and safety’ calamity will come upon them.”

Do three things:

  1. Change. If there is no change during a crises, there is no confidence of things getting better. I don’t wear my fanny pack anymore; I have a cool small bag under my seat. God does allow our endos and works then out for the good.  2021 will not be like 2019 because of what happened in 2020.  You will change, our church will change — but the Kingdom will increase. Everything will be different but better.
  2. Start again.  My bike was totaled in the crash. I went out and purchased my dream bike and started riding again as soon as possible.  Our lives have to re-start; our businesses need to restart; our churches must restart.  I could have another bike crash; we could have further difficulties with Covid but restarting has to happen.
  3. Be generous.  I’m not promoting the Fellowship financial offering.  God dealt with the biggest ‘endo into a faceplant’ crisis in the history of the world (Adam and Eve in the garden) by sending Jesus to die on the cross. Peter encourages us to follow the example of Jesus.  How can you give more than ever?

Sitting too long;  Grieving too long;  Isolation too long; Shuttered businesses too long — does not ultimately solve this crisis.  Not changing my cycling gear; not riding my bicycle again; not living my life generously allows the cycling accident to win.

Something has been taken from us.  Faith and hope challenge us to grow and increase and learn.

I would never … ever … want to experience another endo into a faceplant but I enjoy riding my new bicycle. It is my dream bike and much better than my crashed bike.

I’m anticipating our church … your church … gathering together again.  I think we will find the church of 2021 to be better than the church of 2019!