New Days Require New Learning
The Captain’s Quarters
March 19, 2020
I love music (shocker, right?) I love having it on in my house, the car, and yes - the office. Now with the new realities of ministry amid the COVID-19 outbreak, those places have all sort of melted together - and so music has been all around me lately. But one verse has particularly stuck out to me given our current reality:
Come gather 'round, people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You'll be drenched to the bone If your time to you is worth savin' And you better start swimmin' Or you'll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin'
Now, I’m sure Bob Dylan wasn’t thinking about social distancing when he penned those lyrics, but the truth behind them hits us hard today! When it comes to ministry especially, “the times, they are a-changin!’”
And so, I began a new journey in ministry. A new day calls for new strategies, and new
strategies sometimes call for new learning. Carolyn and I have been busy developing a new website for our church. A virtual place where we can digitally gather, where we can share an encouraging word, keep up to date on the latest events and programming happening at the corps. A place where we can communicate important information to our people. This is well underway, and I expect it to be ready soon - but it’s certainly been a learning experience.
Additionally, I have been exploring ways for us to still share in the word of God. DHQ have generously provided funding for us through the Home Mission Fund to purchase video equipment with the intent of being able to connect Edmonton Temple together through live streaming and video. We now have the equipment, I just need to develop the expertise! New learning for new days.
Now, I’ll confess at this point that sometimes doing new things scares me a little. I like to know how things are going to work out. Truthfully, I like being in control. But the more I reflect on this, the more I’m reminded that it is God who is in control and He is not fazed by the events of today. In fact, Scripture tells us that it was God who initiated new things in the lives of His people.
Isaiah 43:16-21 (NIV): This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.
We know the new thing that God did was to send us His son, Jesus Christ. And through Him, we are made free, we have a “way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland!” For many of us, these days may feel like wilderness and wasteland - but they don’t have to feel that way. It turns out, that the “new thing” God did for the world, was so much better than the old way. I pray that we would hold onto our faith, and be willing to experience newness - not only in response to the coronavirus, but more importantly in response to our Heavenly Father.