Thursdays Thoughts - Connection.
What does it mean to be connected? Truly connected?
On Tuesday evening we had girls bible study, it was a great opportunity to touch base and see how everyone had been since we've gone into hibernation. We were also able to carry on with our usual bible study session as normal, just using technology rather than being in person.
We kicked off by going round one by one and hearing from each other as to how we had been affected by all that's happened in the last few weeks. There was a definite feeling that we're all in a time of 'unknown'(frozen), and that it looked different for each of us. Whether it be not knowing when you're going back to school, what grades you'll be getting for your GCSE's or A-Levels, or simply, asking the question of how long will this all continue for!? Each of us had different thoughts and feelings. I wonder how you may be feeling at the moment?
As I've been reflecting on the evening, something interesting came up through one of the bible passages that we were looking at, Psalm 42. Grab a bible and have a read. As you read it notice how the Psalmist (potentially David), is going back and forth with feeling both discouraged, sad, and forgotten by God, longing for Him, (v.1,5,9) to remembering how it used to be when they would have great processions to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks.(v.4) He then concludes the Psalm by saying, 'I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again, my saviour and my God!.'(v.11)
He's sharing his anguish of feeling far from God, disconnected. Yet, he still remains hopeful in God. What a helpful thing to hear!
A huge part of connection is to be known. And the way we are known and know others is through communication.
How can I stay connected with God whilst I can't go and meet with others Christians or go to church to meet with God? The funny thing is, we all know that the church building isn't the only place to meet God, so why can it so easily feel that way?
Well, the Church is the people, and we as the people gather together in a church building. In Matthew 18:21, Jesus tells his disciples, 'For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.', so no wonder gathering together helps us be more aware of God's presence.
In Hebrews 10:25, it tells us to not stop meeting together. Now that's pretty tricky seeing as we have orders to stay inside right now. I'm sure the enemy is loving that Church (the people) can't currently meet together. It's really important to be aware of how this could quite easily be a time to step back from connecting with others, and God due to the fact that you aren't meeting together in person.
However, the wonder that is technology enables us to still see each other, albeit through screens (now, call me old fashioned but it honestly still baffles me that I can see other people through a screen), which means we can stay in communication, and ultimately stay connected.
Here's just a few suggestions of how you can stay connected to the Church community and God over this next little while, and to make sure that other people feel known and loved in this time of 'unknown'...
Make contact - drop each other a message, send a Snapchat, give each other a call/video call, whatever works best!
Tune in to the live services on Sundays, with your families or by yourself.
Arrange to do an activity with others but from the comfort of your own home, it's an amazing thing to know that you're doing something with someone else.
Make yourself a timetable for each day of when you're going to do things. Include stuff like time with other Christian friends on a video chat, a chance to stop and read your bible/follow a bible study/listen to a talk/pray...then stick to it!
Whatever it is that's going to help you best stay connected, make it a priority. Remember like the Psalmist, that although you can't go to church to meet with God you can remember to put your hope in God and praise him, for he is worthy!