Read Luke 15:1-32
As we have journeyed through the new realities of our current lives in a COVID-19 / stay-at-home world, we have already addressed six key words that deserve our attention:
- Sovereignty– an appreciation of God’s sovereignty when all control is lost.
- Community – a need for community when the situation calls for isolation.
- Family – an understanding of family dynamics when we are together more.
- Intentionality – a commitment to intentionality when daily patterns aren’t what they used to be.
- Indestructibility – a recognition of the church’s indestructibility when her ministries are turned upside down.
- Opportunity – a sense of gospel opportunity when life seems most fragile.
Certainly, there are many other lessons to be learned and so many other words we could highlight. Today’s word, however, will be the last that we will spotlight. Are you ready for it?
Many of the ways we used to do things just aren’t possible. Whether we were advocates of online church or not, it is currently one of the only options. Whether we could have ever envisioned meeting with others through digital platforms like Facetime, Facebook, Skype, Zoom, or some other means, we find ourselves warming up to the idea. Necessity has made us open to creativity and change. If the gospel is to spread…if the church is to be fruitfully lived out in thousands of locations, is it possible that further innovation might be required?
The backdrop for today’s reading reminds us that Jesus was creative. He stepped outside of the norms and expectations of His day. While other spiritual leaders maintained a distance from those outside of the circle of respected people, He welcomed sinners and ate with them. Don’t let that reality escape your notice. It was his creative, compassionate, “others-don’t-do-that” approach that led to the familiar stories of lost sheep, coin, and son.
For some, this creativity may be something new that few others have ever considered. For others, this creativity may just mean stepping outside of your own former patterns of life. I believe our creativity will likely include three components:
- Caring relationships
- Real needs
- Gospel message
Allow the Spirit of God to guide you as you creatively mix those three ingredients for a spiritual harvest.