2020 Religion Column Art

In these difficult days I went in search of knowledge and discernment from the wisest of women and men on this planet, and naturally I ended up on Facebook.

One of the countless memes (I don’t know why that is the name.) has two animals singing, “summertime, and the livin’ is surprising complex …”

Do we wear masks when we leave the house? Is it safe to return to school? Will there ever be a vaccine for COVID-19? And a thousand, a million, more questions race through our heads.

Luke 2 reads: 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

As Christians we often say, “In my distress, I can’t find Jesus.” “In these anxious days, where do I look for God?” Well, where are you looking? Jesus is always ready to be found in the temple and his answers to the toughest of questions will amaze us.

I know, I get it. Making the decision to “come back to church” in the midst of a pandemic is not easy, in fact, it is very complex. And I don’t want to lead us all down the pathway of guilt and shame for that never really helps in the long run. The answer is in how we define “church?” If church is only the building, then I am afraid we might have some “issues” to settle.

But if church is the called gathering of God’s people, not in a singular location, but in a singular pursuit of doing God’s will on earth as it is in heaven, then finding Jesus gets easy. Jesus is always with the people. Wherever the people have opened their hearts and minds to learning and praise, whenever the people have chosen to get their hands dirty to serve others, there is Jesus in our midst.

All of a sudden what appears complex has been simplified.

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