Today, you and I awoke to a new normal. Living in a pandemic and the age of technology has given rise to numerous inventions, new means of communication, and various phrases, such as “going viral” – when a video, image, or story goes viral, it spreads quickly and widely on the Internet through social media and e-mail. Since the pandemic gripped our community and altered our way of worship, the push of The Ship has been to continue to minister and share the gospel message by enlarging our presence on the internet through social media an email.
In order to continue to get her message out during this time of pandemic, the Church – body of Christ – has been forced to dive headfirst into various platforms of social media. The good thing is, the physical walls that once separated church from church and church from the world have been removed. Our audience has expanded beyond the physical walls of the home congregation and become 100% virtual. The message is now flowing to every age, race, gender, and religion throughout the world via social media. The “now normal” may eventually become, “the new normal” and lead us where Christ commanded us to go.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Mat 28:19-20 KJV
With those words, Jesus commanded the disciples/Church to “go viral.” Prior to His resurrection, the disciples’ ministry was closed within walls only accessible by the Israelites. Jesus’ parting words expanded ministry to all nations – making it universal. Take note of the fact that Jesus told the disciples to “go.” (We’ll come back to that.) And just prior to His ascension to heaven, He gave them the confidence they would need “to go.”
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8 KJV
Although the early Church had been given the Power, the believers did not venture outside the boundaries of Jerusalem until the hardship of persecution befell them. As they fled Jerusalem, the Gospel was shared along the journey – to Judaea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the world.
The difficulty caused by this pandemic has forced The Ship to venture outside our traditional boundaries. The same Power – Holy Spirit – that propelled the early believers to share the Gospel, has equipped us with the courage to present the Gospel to a universal audience. That brings me back to what Jesus meant when He commanded the disciples/Church, “to go.” Dr. Tom Constable explains this in his Bible Commentary, Constable’s Notes, “Jesus commanded His disciples to reach out to unreached people to make disciples, not just to make disciples among those with whom they happened to come in contact.” Reaching them requires going beyond the boundary of our comfort zone and the walls of a building. Jesus taught in the synagogue, the mountains, a boat, along the roadside, and from an old rugged cross.
The Church – body of Christ – has gone viral. Fellowship is just a small yet significant part of the Body. But our small reach, coupled with the reach of our sister churches, circles the globe. I believe that is what Jesus meant. One body in Christ Jesus.
We are living in The New Normal.
Written by Henry Hopson, Jr.