God Has His Eye on Us
Starting and stopping a task has always been a problem for me. In past years, I was a great procrastinator, and even today, I am amazed that I can fill a task with every last possible amount of time. I wish I were a work ahead person as some have their job done months in advance. I wish there were elements of this remarkable skill in my – I know our staff would love me more and more. Yet, one thing that has been hardest on me this year is the stopping and starting of in-person gatherings. At Calvary, we have chosen to comply (with regret) with the guidelines for in-person public worship as best we can, seeking to protect and love those within our community and those outside our community. We have brought live-streaming services online to help, encourage, and edify those at home and, when permitted, have sought to maximize our in-person gatherings by adding a second service.
Starting and stopping has been challenging. It’s been tough on our staff, on our leadership but most of all, for the church body. We felt that we were just getting into a good rhythm with our public worship, and all of a sudden, the wheels fell off, and we felt the wisest course of action was to return to live-streaming, online public worship. In the flow of one week, our staff (which, by the way, are top-notch) took us back online with great enthusiasm and faith. They are to be commended publically for their dedication and outstanding attitudes.
Starting and stopping is difficult because of the emotions that come into play. To create something new and fresh (in this case, two services) brought wonderful feelings of excitement and newness. It brought optimism because, finally, we had room to grow and develop as a church. We were thrilled that we could minister to more and more people who chose in-person worship with the continuation of the live stream. Yes, it was more work, but it was exciting, and we loved it.
Then came the stop. We’re only one week into this, but frankly, we are all feeling a broad spectrum of emotions. Our staff is still committed to the mission of making disciples (which I hope all of us are) but we miss seeing live, human, breathing people in person. It’s just different, and we are dealing with what we feel.
God’s people experienced what starting and stopping felt like. This week I pointed our staff to the book of Ezra, and I encourage you to check out that book if you get a chance. It’s all about God’s people rebuilding the temple after their exile. Everyone is excited because God’s temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem so that they can worship God the way there were accustomed to. It was all the feeling that we felt when we launched the two services.
They had to stop building. The occupying force and those loyal to other leaders didn’t like that God’s people were working to recreate the temple. So they complained to other leaders, and the project stopped. And all the feelings that we felt when we stopped in-person happened.
And then they started again when they could, and they completed the temple. Joy and happiness filled the hearts of God’s people. They rededicated themselves to God, and it’s very cool to see what God does.
One little verse caught my attention this week as I re-read this book.
“But the eye of their God was on the elders of the Jews…”. Ezra 5:5
God’s eye was on them. Amid the starting and stopping of the rebuilding, God’s eye was on them. He cared for them. He protected them. He blessed them. He showed them grace. He gave them strength. He was attentive to them.
This verse gently and wonderfully reminds me that God has not forgotten us in the starting and stopping of life, even the life of the church. His eye is on His people as we are faithful to Him. He watches over us and promises that He will never leave us or forsake us.
Take encouragement from that today. God’s eye is on His people. If you know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, the Bible says you are His people. He is watching over you. Maybe that will change your perspective on life as it has changed mine today.
You are dearly loved,