by Pastor Mark Mackay
Hasn’t it been wonderful to see the COVID-19 restrictions be progressively lifted? While the restrictions have been wise and necessary, I think most people are enjoying the renewed freedom, especially the freedom to gather.
Prior to COVID-19, I took gathering for granted. If I wanted to hang out with friends, I did it. Going to Church each week, no problem. But then the restrictions came and these things weren’t automatically the case anymore. I soon came to miss face-to-face community. While the value of online platforms has been inestimable, they aren’t a substitute for real people.
It’s no surprise, then, that as the restrictions began to be lifted, people went out more and enjoyed the value of community. I noticed more people walking around the Lake and more people stopping and chatting (socially distanced, of course). I suspect we have learned the lesson of community.
So, as the restrictions continue to lift and things progressively become the ‘new normal’, I trust that we don’t forget the lesson that we need community. Online platforms and social media are no substitute for face-to-face interaction.
One of the most precious images in the Bible is the creation of humanity. In the midst of all the beautiful perfection of the Creation, God looks at Adam and says, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) So, God created Eve. We’re made for relationship. Indeed, that is part of the very essence of being human when God made humanity in His own image. (Genesis 1:27)
What are some practical steps we can take to invest into this sense of community?
• Get to know your neighbours. Six-foot fences have not been good for our sense of connectedness. Reach out to neighbours and across boundaries;
• Go for a walk around the Lake with someone else. We are blessed in Forest Lake by a magnificent lake—it’s a great place to walk with someone else;
• Look up from your screen. As good as technology is, it’s no substitute for reality. Look up from your screen and see the people in front of you and around you.
My prayer for all of us is that we will learn from this season and invest into our community even more.
Visit Forest Lake Baptist Church for information regarding service times and programs.
IMAGE: Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash.
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