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Gathered and Scattered

Remember when we all shut down and scattered back in March…for two weeks?

Remember when whatever it is that you lead adjusted…adapted…zoomed…went online…got creative?

And remember when you started talking about “going back to normal?”

Do you remember the first time it occurred to you that “back to normal” would not be “normal”—maybe similar but altered, maybe completely different, maybe less on your plate…or more in some cases—but definitely not “normal”?

I read the first few verses of Acts 8 this morning.

  • Stephen was executed
  • Great persecution against the church
  • Believers scattered…except the apostles
  • Stephen was buried, while devout men lamented over him
  • Saul ravaged the church

I gained some perspective.

The gathered became the scattered.

I remembered Gail’s word last week. The future for us will be in the many voices trained to share words of grace, not just the singular voice.

Then I flicked my phone to the Message. Eugene Peterson summarized the next verse:

Forced to leave home base, the followers of Jesus all became missionaries. Wherever they were scattered, they preached the Message about Jesus.

Not back to normal.

It was a difficult jump, with great loss, great sacrifice, and lamentation.

And? There was much joy in that city!

So what do you think? What if what’s next is an investment in something more and not diminished?

What if—as you’re forced to leave home base—God has more and better planned?

Finally, what if God is present and in control and has promised to provide for you and protect you through all of this—as difficult as it is?

Just a thought. What do you think?

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