Can Any Good Come From Lockdown?
The time of lock down and isolation should in my humble opinion be used to think about the error of our ways of living – rethink – reassess. Should there not be a deconstruction of the wrong approaches and a reconstruction of new Godly approaches?
They don’t happen often do they? Those kairos moments in life when everything syncs up perfectly. (A Kairos moment in time is made up of three elements: It is a moment of maximum opportunity. It is a moment when change is possible. It is an exquisite syncretistic moment when all things “come together” and align.)
Ah, but when they do it is exquisite! It is arriving at a God moment—the “set time” of maximum opportunity. (woundresser.com)
Many, including myself, are fast becoming impatient and are looking forward to seeing the end of the Lockdown. Lockdown, Coronavirus, Covid-19, masks, sanitizer and awareness have become much spoken words!
In two short months, we were hard pushed to learn new vocabulary, new ways of coping, new ways of living together.
We, especially those who care have developed a sense of neighborliness, as we have much time to contemplate – an awareness about those who are less fortunate about those who are hungry. Then there are those who couldn’t care and are just about their own well-being. The question asked is: Can any good come from lockdown?
Having mentioned “time to contemplate” brings me to the point that I really would like to address. I believe that as much as there may be those who have and are gaining from the situation that we are faced with, that there is also the reality that God may have ordained this time off lockdown for the earth to breath – for us as humanity to pause and reconsider and yes, to reconnect. Could this be a turning point for the world as we know it?
During these past weeks we have heard over and over again that nothing will be as we’ve known it and that much will change going forward. I have always been of the opinion that as a people we have become too competitive and that success was based on who comes out tops. In the process, our value system was compromised, we have lost sight of morality – corruption has become an acceptable norm. Nothing really was seen as taboo anymore!
The time of lockdown and isolation should in my humble opinion be used to think about the error of our ways of living – rethink – reassess. Should there not be a deconstruction of the wrong approaches and a reconstruction of new Godly approaches.
How many of us during this time have engaged with the much needed introspection to prepare us for a new and fresh start where our dependence on our Creator will be the new foundation or launchpad, thus preventing that our lives spiral out of control. This will help us to regain the lost focus – to go back to the basics.
We may ask what the basic is that I am referring to. I refer you to the covenant relationship that God initiated with Moses and the Israelites, where commandments were given as outlines. These were parameters in which communal acceptability were founded – the acceptable path to live, move and to be. These norms could be referred to as the basics.
I began by stating that many including myself are becoming impatient and look forward to the end of the lockdown. I will be lying if I say that I don’t miss our gatherings in worship and the celebration of the Eucharist with the people of God. Deep down, I have a firm belief that what we are presented with at this time of isolation could very well be a Kairos moment.
Many are of common mind that nothing will be as we knew it; the question is how will it impact on us as God’s Church. Have we successfully and accurately interpreted God’s will for God’s Church and people? As our growing impatience dictates us, does it mean that we have all the answers on how to move on from here?
At crucial moments in his life, Abraham had to trust God with a completely unknown future. God told Abraham to “go” without telling him where he was headed. I realize that it may also be that God wants us to like Abraham of old, to venture faithfully into the unknown believing that God will give clarity as we obediently follow.
I would almost like to suggest that we need to be provocative in our outlook in how to do church in a way that we will reach God’s people who due to the dictates of work demands aren’t able to attend church on a regular basis and as a result became “church less” how can the church be taken to where they find themselves. Maybe the time has come to really begin to look at specialized ministries, e.g mall chaplains, airport chaplains, industrial chaplains ect.
We should enter into talks with these strategic places to open up space where people are welcome to seek spiritual guidance and even come for the celebration of a shortened version of the Holy Mass. The time will probably come when people will outgrow the church as we know it. I believe that the formation of ordinands for the ordained ministry should have a much broader outlook than what is the case presently. We have a mandate given by Jesus himself (Mt. 28:18-20) and the authority was give to us to be bold in the sharing of His mission (Missio Dei)
I guess the question I would like to ask is, are we in sync or do we carry on as usual. How do we apply the lessons learned and yet to learn from this Lockdown experience in the hope of being Godfearing and obedient servants of the Almighty God?
As we continue to wrestle with questions regarding the way forward, let us continue to do so in faith that even this shall pass and that we will emerge stronger on the other side.
Flores Anthony is a Priest with the Anglican communion of Paarl, South Africa
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