Latest Blog - 12th April
Learning to walk - Dan Fryer
So today marks a significant step towards the ending of lockdown as more places reopen including shops. Let us celebrate this moment and I certainly am praising God that I can get my hair cut soon!
This week also marks a return to in person services at Jubilee Central. As a leadership team, we felt it was right to stop meeting while in national lockdown and especially due to high number of cases locally. But now it feels the right time to start to regather and although it will look very different, we are really excited to be together. We also realise that for a number of reasons, people may not feel able to join us yet and we will be incomplete as a family and so we will be doing all we can to keep everyone engaged and will be continuing with all our online activities for the foreseeable future.
This is a moment when we have to make decisions. We are all going to have to decide when we feel able to return to in person services (and there is no right or wrong answer!). But as restrictions are lifted and life starts to return to some form of normality, we all need to decide whether we will choose to centre our lives around Jesus. It feels like this is a unique time (maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity) to press the reset button. Our lives have been interrupted but they will quickly fill up again and so we must be intentional.
In John 15 we are invited by Jesus to abide in Him. That in centring our lives around Jesus, we find life and growth as we live in God’s presence. So much of my life can be filled with striving and busyness, chasing after the things of this world rather than the things of this kingdom.
Yesterday I spoke about the need to hunger after presence rather than progress. In a world that demands that we must have more and be more, it takes determination to instead choose to be someone who goes after God’s presence, to slow down and be connected to the vine as John 15 puts it.
In some ways we are going to have to learn to walk again. Previously I worked with injured athletes and when recovering from an injury, the biggest risk to a successful rehabilitation was athletes wanting to get back to playing too quickly. They would try and push their bodies harder than it was ready to go and would often cause further injury.
This next season feels like a time of rehabilitation. We will all carry injuries from the last year, disappointments, hurts, losses. God is present in these times and wants to draw near to us by his presence, bringing healing and restoration. God has been teaching us all this year and revealing areas of our hearts that need transforming. Rushing back in to ‘normal life’ risks missing what God is wanting to do and risks further spiritual damage.
Some of us will recovery quicker than others and will be able to help others but as a community we are going to have to learn to walk again. Learn what it is to be the gathered people of God, learn what it is to be around our communities again – we are learning to walk. Learning to walk again gives us a chance to put into place those foundational practices that will help us in the years to come. Learning to be people who hunger for God’s presence, learning to listen to God’s voice in prayer; learning to connect with God through Bible reading, silence and solitude, fasting; learning to love our neighbours deeply and be a truly missional people.
Days of running will come, we know God has great plans for us, let us make sure that we are running with fresh power and purpose knowing that God is with us and His presence will sustain us. Let’s make sure that we aren’t people who burn out or give up but people who truly make an impact as we make Jesus known in Hull and the nations for the years to come.