That which happens inside a cocoon is miraculous. A caterpillar weaves itself a sleeping bag, but what happens next is nothing like hibernation. The caterpillar liquefies and reconstitutes itself into a new kind of creature. Then it writhes and fights to break free from the cocoon. In doing so, it builds up its strength and is able to fly!
Likewise, we at First Baptist and Misión Bautista have not been hibernating during these past six months of pandemic and social isolation. This has been a time of thoughtful conversations and meaningful relationship building. We are adapting to the changing world we find around us and providing online services, Zoom Bible studies, continuing to disperse food, and worshiping outside during the summer and now in the sanctuary through socially distanced safety measures.
Just like becoming a new Christian, life doesn't suddenly become easy and carefree once you decide to follow Jesus. This pandemic has affected many of us in different and difficult ways, but even in a pandemic (perhaps I should say "especially in a pandemic") God still calls upon us to grow deeper in our faith and in sharing that love with others. I believe that it is most essential that we hear the desperate cries in the night of this long pandemic where people are facing health scares, social upheaval, economic uncertainty, and deep political divisions. It is in the midst of this crisis that we are called to live out an evidence of faith, hope, and love. I believe in God and I believe that God is making us stronger for this moment and for a future where resilient disciples of Christ are forged.
I officially shared a few weeks ago that we are undergoing a Visioning process with Misión Bautista to "join forces" and become one unified, multicultural church. Pastor Abner and I have been praying and talking about this for a couple of years now and when we started the process of telling the church leadership, the pandemic hit. Yet, this does not deter us in this endeavor because through all these challenges, it is becoming clearer that we need each other now more than ever. We live in one of the most diverse counties in America. Reflecting that diversity is reality of the church that was birthed at Pentecost in Acts 2. The Holy Spirit gave the gathered community the gift of speaking different languages in order to equip them to take the message of Jesus to the world. Different cultures were not something to fear, but to embrace. These earliest Christians broke out of their cocoon on that day and were stronger than ever, equipped to share the Gospel in authentic and relevant ways. It's exciting. It's scary. It's the life of Christ in us, challenging us to become who he had in mind for us to become at the beginning of the age. Join us in the emergence from our cocoon.
I'm a follower of Christ, husband, father, friend, pastor, story teller, asker of questions, inspired by biblical narratives, social justice advocate, sports enthusiast, drinker of over priced coffee and general seeker of God's redemptive possibilities. Yeah, that about covers it. (If you discover something else, let me know!)