Several terms have been added to our conversational vocabulary since March: social distancing, unprecedented, the new normal, COVID-19. I would like to add another one: catalyst. It is a word usually used to describe part of a chemical reaction, but it has another meaning. According to Webster’s Dictionary, a catalyst is an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action. Usually in traditional church circles we do not have positive thoughts when we see the words change and agent in the same sentence, but some of the changes brought on over the last few months could be positive if we allow them to take root.
Someone shared an article with me this week from Vox entitled, “Quarantine Has Changed Us — and It’s Not All Bad.” The article lists several good changes that have come during the pandemic. The author may not have realized it, but many of the things he mentioned are ideas straight from the Bible. I have added scriptures related to his points.
  1. Reducing consumerism (Matthew 6:24) – We think of this more in terms of materialism. When everything shuts down, it is a little harder to go shopping. Although this has created challenges for small business owners, it has also forced people dealing with debt to reassess how they spend. No one can serve two masters.
  2. Slowing down and putting less pressure on ourselves (Matthew 6:25-34) – Many of the things that we pressuring us in February had to be put on hold. The pace of life for most of us changed drastically. That slow down can help us notice others and see God more clearly.
  3. Prioritizing family and friends (John 13:34-35) – Finances are not the only place we have been forced to assess what is really important. We have realized how important our relationships are, and we have spent a lot of time with those people who live in our homes.
  4. Eating meals together (Ephesians 5:22-6:4) – Sitting at the table and sharing a meal together was not a regular practice in many families before COVID-19. People are busy. Even if they were in the same house, they might eat at different times in different rooms. Slowing down has also brought the opportunity to sit a table together. There is a great benefit from that.
  5. Spending time in nature (Psalm 19, Psalm 95) – When things shut down, one of the few places we could go was outside. We had the opportunity again to enjoy the feeling of the sun on our faces and to hear the sounds of nature around us. We serve a powerful God who made all of this.
Consider this week what has changed for you over the last few months. Let it be the catalyst for a life more in tune with our God and one another.
– Brian

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