Who are we as we come out of Lockdown?
By Ali Laing, Next Generation Development Co-ordinator
Summer 2021 seems to be marking a time that we begin to get something resembling normality. Despite some small increases in infections hospital admissions seem to have remained low. Perhaps we may just be getting there!
It is a strange feeling though, for many of us we have been nervous and slow to fully embrace our new-found liberties and increasing freedoms. I was speaking to a couple of parents at the school drop off this week and through our masks we were discussing how we had unhealthily made friends with ‘being locked in our homes working‘ for the past 16 months. Despite having the freedom and liberty to meet with people and travel more, we were all finding that we had been conditioned by the past 18 months and needed to retrain ourselves to live in the light of the constraints being lifted.
It makes no sense, but we all were saying that we were finding it hard to find the energy and enthusiasm to get out there and reconnect with friends, activities and in person physical gatherings. We have talked so long about getting to a place of freedom that when it begins to be presented to us we can find it very hard to grasp hold of it.
I can’t help but reflect that as I struggle to fully embrace my increasing freedoms from lock down, how much more to do I struggle to grasp hold of the reality of who I am in Christ? The bible has a lot to say about who we are in Christ! And it really is GOOD NEWS! The trouble is, sometimes we don’t live fully in the reality of who we are either as individuals or as a church.
Neil Anderson in his brilliant book Victory Over The Darkness writes, “The major strategy of Satan is to distort the character of God and the truth of who we are. He can’t change God and he can’t do anything to change our identity and position in Christ. If, however, he can get us to believe a lie, we will live as though our identity in Christ isn’t true.”
As we as individuals and as churches begin to enter the freedoms of post lockdown, will we also grasp hold of who we really are and live in the reality of this truth? As Paul writes in Ephesians, “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power towards us who believe,” (Ephesians 1:16b-19a).
Would we not all benefit from more of the Spirit of Wisdom and revelation? Would we not all benefit from knowing Jesus more intimately? Would we not love to have our hearts enlightened? That we would know more hope? Recognise the glorious inheritance that is ours in Christ Jesus? And know more of his immeasurably great power towards us? Then it’s time to stop believing the lies that hold us back from knowing the reality of these truths in our lives. It’s time to believe again and live in our true identity as children of God.
As Paul writes in Philippians 3:12 this is the time to grasp hold of that which Christ has grasped hold of us for.
God has purpose and hope for His church in Scotland. He is faithful and true to us and has adopted us as His children. Let it be that as we move towards a new season in the church’s life in Scotland that we do so led by the Spirit rather than by fears, anxieties or unhelpful traditions we may have picked up along the way.
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:14-15)
We all need to learn to live again as we gain more freedoms, to step out of the ways we have been for the past 16 months. As a church too, we need to remember who we truly are at this time and live in the truth of it!
Have a great summer everyone!