On The Other Side
Quite often, the minutest of details can be overlooked in Scripture as they are placed between epic stories and miracles. In this text, Jesus just completed a day of teaching and requested his apostles to send the crowd away as he intended to travel to the other shoreline by ship. The crowd was dispersed, but interestingly enough, the Gospel expresses that there were “also with him other little ships” floating in his vicinity.
The body of Christ is at a pivotal moment as we press through, adapt, and endure our present state of social isolation, self-quarantine, and executive orders that limit public gatherings that churches are not even exempt. There have been limited cases pastors have chosen to disregard public health directives and found themselves arrested, fined, or worse members of their congregations have fallen ill. With the church doors closed, the crowds have dispersed. Nonetheless, Jesus is still moving forward in his purpose. In such a time as this, the church should be the example of decency and order as we find ways to adapt to our new environment seeking both innovative ways to spread the Gospel without forsaken the initial purpose of ministry, which is to touch the hearts of the people.
Leaders and members must examine themselves and ask if they have the wood to build their ships to follow Jesus. Little ships meant that these were not cruise liners that housed a few hundred people. These were little ships, small pockets of believers that didn’t rely on the crowd, choir, musicians, and amenities that the church has provided today to incentivize people to follow Jesus. It is at this moment the church is returning to its apostolic roots with small pockets of believers building themselves up in the most holy faith by studying, praying, and worshiping God together as family units. Indeed, it is in this season the first church, the family unit, is rising and overcoming the pestilence of the world. We will cross over the stormy seas and once again come together on the other side of this pandemic.