A common question today is, “When will we get back to normal?” I think there’s more at stake than recovering a way of life.
I’m inclined to think that there is a bigger crisis looming, one that the pandemic is exposing.
In spite of astounding advances in science, healthcare, education and technology, the world hasn’t produced what it takes to rid society of conflict, hatred, injustice, discrimination.
The perilous times described in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 are in full bloom and all around us. We only have to listen to the news or conversations and opinions across society. As it’s been said, the heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.
One major concern for me has to do with the Church. Even in this difficult pandemic season, Christ followers must remember the mission that the Lord entrusted to His people. We are sent with the gospel of salvation and hope to people who are lost and blinded by the god of this world. That is our primary purpose.
A few Pre-covid Indicators of Trouble
The suppositions that guided Canadian society just 50 years ago have been eroding for some time. We have witnessed the forced disappearance of references to God at all levels of society.
Contempt for Judeo-Christian values and convictions is growing. Yet, these values built a prosperous nation, admired and respected for its justice system, healthcare, its security and its generosity towards other nations.
Before the pandemic, research already showed a decline in the percentage of our population who identify with Christianity, more specifically evangelical Christians. Church attendance was already in decline with a number of churches closing every year.
The diminishing interest in evangelism was already deeply troubling and the word Gospel was already being redefined to mean humanitarian outreach with or without Christ.
Painful social issues were dominating our news media, but now it’s increasing, feeding more despair and hopelessness. There seems to also be a ramp up in broadcasting failures of people associated with Christianity, which creates an even harsher view of the Church in general and greater skepticism towards the Gospel of Christ.
In the Season of COVID-19
While a few are seizing this time as an opportunity to witness for Christ, what I hear most often from across Canada has to do with survival. The big questions are about attendance and finances. Too few seem preoccupied with reaching lost people with the gospel of hope and life.
My concern is for the Church’s spiritual vitality and vision of the harvest fields that Jesus speaks about in the gospel. If ever there was a time to bring light and hope to people, it’s now.
A Time to Pray and Sow
The witness of history is an encouraging reminder of what God can do when His people cry out to Him in the midst of the worst. Historically, outpourings of God’s Spirit often came when all seemed lost. God’s answer to persistent prayer and the proclamation of His Word have cut through the adversaries’ most devastating assaults, resulting in massive numbers of people turning to Christ, even nations.
We know the solution to society’s disintegration. It’s time to pray and to sow seeds of the Gospel like never before.
Canada is at a critical crossroads, and so is the Canadian Church. One of the best things we can do is to lay our nation and the Church at the feet of Jesus, every day. More than 37 million live here and they need our prayers and they need the Gospel.
Let’s pray that the new normal will be…
- A revived Church, faithful to the Lord and faithful to His mission and His Word.
- A devoted Church that will walk humbly with the Lord and call upon His Name on behalf of people and nations.
Let’s pray for…
- A historic outpouring of the Spirit of God upon Canada; upon its leaders at every level of society and upon its people from all backgrounds.
- A way for the gospel of salvation to reach people from coast to coast. May we humbly serve and trust the Lord at this critical crossroads in our history.