Let Us Not Turn Back to Folly
6 Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show us your steadfast love, O LORD,
and grant us your salvation.
8 Let me hear what God the LORD will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;
but let them not turn back to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
that glory may dwell in our land. (Psalms 85:6-9)
Dear brothers and sisters,
Although we are not quite there yet, the new normal, post-pandemic world is thankfully almost in sight.
While this has been a physical health restoration process, I am more concerned that there be a spiritual restoration coming out of it. My concern comes from the words of Psalm 85 above. Will we take the time to hear what the Lord will speak? There can be no real revival without such hearing.
My fear is that we could turn back to the folly (v. 8) of the lives we had before, both personally and as churches. Having been slowed down by the pandemic, will we speed up to the culture’s expectations of constant communication, no Sabbath rest, endless activity and media? The Lord wants to speak peace (v. 8), but we must allow time to hear.
As far as our church life goes this is a good time to hear and re-focus on our primary mission of making disciples. Let me close by quoting C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity. It is worth remembering that this book came out of his radio speeches to Britain during another worldwide crisis, World War II:
... the Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. It is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other purpose.
May the Lord revive us for mission in the season ahead!
In Jesus the Messiah,
The Rt. Rev. Neil G. Lebhar
Bishop of the Gulf Atlantic Diocese
More in Letters from the Bishop
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December 9, 2021An Unexpected Way to Prepare for Christmas
November 3, 2021A Tale of Two Countries: An Israel Tour and A New Missional Initiative