The sound of the ‘new normal’

I saw a friend’s FB post this morning from New Zealand. Tomorrow they’re allowed to go back to the church building and to worship together in groups no larger than 100. It made me think about the privilege of being able to come together. Over the last 10 weeks I’ve loved being the church with my family but the coming together of people from different spheres of life is special, significant and vital for true community. I think its something I’ve taken for granted.

From childhood I’ve always loved being in church. It always felt like a good place to be. Even when my parents said we couldn’t go, I would beg them to let me go alone! And they did! They would drop me off outside the church building and I would sneak in just in time for kids church!

Over the years I’ve loved being in church conferences of thousands but never imagined a day would come when all of that would have to cease.

For me my favourite part of church is corporate worship – when we sing to God! That’s when I hear God speak to me the clearest and I see evidence of God moving. You can hear it in the voices and you can see it in the faces. There’s a sound of desperation in some voices, in others celebration. Some faces display the pain of recent events, yet they choose to lift their hands and hearts in worship! I see the faces of the elderly, the ones who have walked with Jesus through all the ups and downs of life. There’s the faces of the forgiven, the faces of the redeemed, the faces of the children, the faces of the searching. Each face bringing their own unique sound to God collectively producing worship that is like a fine fragrance to our King!

Oh what a sound we’re going to make when get back together to worship God!

It’s going to be loud because there will be an eruption of gratefulness! He never left us nor forsook us! Those words will hold new meaning for so many of us!

It’s going to be triumphant! We live for Jesus! We have this amazing hope in tomorrow. Despite the hardships we’re confident that hope will continue!

It’s going to be sincere! We’re done mouthing words to songs and not giving our hearts permission to fully let go in praise! This pandemic has taught us every day is precious and every opportunity to praise is one we need to grab hold of with both hands!

• It’s going to exalt God higher than ever before! The last 10 weeks have shown us that there is none higher than our God. COVID-19 baffled everyone. These were unprecedented times. There is only ONE person this didn’t baffle – our God! He continued to reign, His love and faithfulness has prevailed.

It’s going to have an awareness attached to it! An awareness that every person has their own story of COVID-19. It may be one of bereavement, difficulty, financial instability, or relational breakdown. Together we will stand in worship, physically praying and praising with one another. Never again will we underestimate the value of this.

It’s going to be victorious! Our praise will lead to breakthrough. I’m reminded of Jehosophat leading his army into battle with no armour but praise! And they won! He just encouraged his army with these words, “Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld” (2 chronicles 20:20)

I cannot wait for this day when when we get to worship together. I can’t wait to hear the sound we produce together. My prayer is that it’s soon and that our hearts are open to the new normal, to wholeheartedly be a part of the next chapter.

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