Recreating With New Cloth

Text: Luke 5:36
He also told them a parable: ‘No one tears a piece from a new garment and sews it on an old garment; otherwise the new will be torn, and the piece from the new will not match the old. (NRSV)

A lot has changed for us since this time last year.  We are slightly more than a year into a global pandemic which has taken more than 2.5 million lives worldwide.  That number is so large it is hard for me to wrap my mind around it.

Our response to this pandemic has brought about many changes in the way we live our daily lives.  In the church, we have had to do things very differently in order to stay connected and offer God’s care and love to those who no longer feel safe gathering inside for worship.

This parable of Jesus is more than 2,000 years old and is a parable about change.  It seems that the old adage, “the only thing constant is change”, holds true.  Life is always changing and how we do things is always changing.  Over the past 20 years we have seen church attendance drop in all but a very few churches throughout the United States and yet there had not been a good, sustained response to the new reality.  It was as if we were tearing pieces from a new garment and trying to sew them onto the old.  The new was torn and it was a mismatch for what the unchurched had been longing for.

Now we have been forced to recreate our worship from “whole cloth”.  We have recreated the way we connect and the way we deliver our worship services.  Even when we regather in a few weeks as more and more people are being vaccinated and some are feeling safer, the “experts” are saying that it is unlikely that gathered worship on Sunday morning in a church sanctuary will be the majority way people will worship in the future.

We have actually grown in this time period from an average worship of a little over 200 on a Sunday, including gathered and on-line worshipers.  We have had 209 downloads of our new phone app and we are reaching more than 350 people per week with our on-line only worship.  Change is hard but sometimes it is necessary to renew the way we do things.  I think this is what Jesus is saying in this parable.

Pray with me:

God of love and God of recreation you have come to change our lives with your love.  Continue to lead us into new ways of sharing your love with a world that is always changing.  AMEN.

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