A Night at the Ryman with Friends...in a Pandemic
Last night, Amanda and I had the privilege of going to see Andrew Peterson's "Behold the Lamb of God" at the Ryman with our new friends, Dustin and Deborah Moss. It was such a treat. But if you know me, I am a rather pensive guy. Andrew Peterson's work is a gift helping us grasp for holiness and hope in the midst of the difficulties of life.
No, the Ryman was not packed...probably only about 25% capacity while having to wear a mask the entire night. I was in this room in February and it was teaming with life and packed to the gills. Nonetheless Tonight...the mood in the room was hopeful and joyful in the midst of the saddening realities we face today. It reminded me that just because things were not as they were in February doesn't mean they are not just a beautiful now but different. We need just look for the holy in the midst of our moment. You see, Amanda and I had each other with new friends by our side listening to a concert drawing us to close to hope of the incarnation. That is holy! Social distancing and masks didn't stop that! God's glory shone through!
I, like many Christians, struggle to be excited about 2020. This is natural. But what I am convinced more and more of is that I, like many Christians, struggle to find the Holy in 2020 because we believe that the Gospel means that we must rise above it. In reality, like Job, God calls us to sit in our current moment and find that our hope and His holiness amidst the sin and fracture of our world as we wait for Christ' glorious return.
It's ok to want things to be different but it's not ok to live as if this moment will go away simply if we pretend or will it enough it will be over. Good parents tell their children no sometimes and so does God. Perhaps the remedy to our sadness is found as we commune with God with Gospel hope. If God is saying "no, not yet" then it may mean He has is growing our longing for our true home.
So let's cultivate being still and knowing that He is God. He will return for us and we will one day reside in his New Jerusalem. Until then, we need to find ways to see the holy now. One way that I might suggest is to pick up this little handy guide for every day liturgies. It is called "EVERY MOMENT HOLY". I have known about this book for a few months but I have decided now that I need help finding the holy in the everyday as I wait for Jesus' return. Consider joining me for this journey in 2021.
I love you all church dearly loved! God has been so good to us in 2020 and we can expect him to continue to do so. [And yes, you read that correctly...God has been good to us in 2020.]
(Pic snapped by our friends Dustin and Deborah Moss)