- Up Close
New Norm, New Heart
As online services continue in Phase Two, Diana Lim reflects on her new norm.
I used to be up at 6am to get my kids and I ready for church. By 7.30am, we would leave to be in church by 8am to check in the kids to Nursery and Pre-Teens.
Now, we all get up at 8am. We might have outgrown our Sunday best outfits during the Circuit Breaker period. There’s no nursery. Pre-Teens svc is now on an iPad for the 10 year-old.
Church is not the same. I miss the gatherings. The friendly celebration hosts. The traffic marshals who wave at you. The smell of kopi from the pantry. I miss being in the Sanctuary with my heart prepped and ready to enter His presence and meet with the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
I watch the service on my big screen in the living room while sitting on the floor with the little baby who’s a new crawler. And I yearn for more of God. Knowing that if I’m not careful, my yearning may wane and grow weak.
Though the curve has flattened, and the Circuit Breaker has been lifted, we aren’t heading back to the House of the Lord anytime soon. I don’t know about you but I’m seriously contemplating about my passion and hunger for the Lord and the house of the Lord.
It’s so easy to be distracted. It’s so hard to stay focused. In the first few weeks, I got up early and prepped myself for online service. Rejoicing that amid the Circuit Breaker we were able to harness technology to “gather” and be in the same heart and mind. But as weeks went by, I found it increasingly challenging to keep up this routine on my own.
Reflecting on the journey led me to these thoughts as we continue this new norm.
Conviction or Convenience
Convenience will allow: The skipping of 5pm service, knowing that there are two more chances the next morning. The extra sleep on Sunday morning, knowing that there is another service at 11am. The stumbling in late for the 11am service – after all, you can rewind the service on YouTube and have catch up TV.
Conviction says: I will commit to the weekly gathering of saints even though it's online. To hold to Hebrews 10:25 and Acts 2 where the believers are together in one place (and one heart), devoted to the apostles teaching, even to breaking of bread and to prayer.
Dedication or Distraction
Distraction will allow: Incoming messages. Scrolling through Deliveroo so that lunch will arrive nicely after service ends. Or simply let the service run in the background while I take a drink from the kitchen. After all, it’s just worship time.
Dedication says: I will be faithful to treating the service with the same honor as I would if the service was in church. Listening to the message with an open heart to allow reflection and transformation.
Passion or Passiveness
Passiveness will allow: The switching of channels in between. The alternating of browser tabs. A causal approach. No Bible in tow. No note taking.
Passion says: I will hunger and thirst and desire for God to change me in my engagement of the service online. I will worship and invite the presence of God into my home. I will lock in time for God and not leave it to chance for a change of heart to happen.
The new norm will require conviction of who God is in my life – Lord and King. It will demand dedication so that I can continue to grow in my reverence and devotion unto God. To think my passion for God will grow without tending to it will be foolishness on my part.
It’s time for a change of heart!
Reflect and Respond
How has your journey been moving into the new norm? Are you moving towards conviction, distraction and passiveness or conviction, dedication and passion?
What do you look forward to when church onsite reopens and in the meantime, how are you making the most out of church online?