For us, the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions may feel just like the Israelites leaving their life of bondage in Egypt. It seems that life is returning to normal even though we still hear the call to adapt to a “new normal”. We should relook at what the pandemic have taught us and develop new ways of doing church and worship so we will not be caught off-guard by another pandemic or similar crisis.
To the Israelites, whenever they encountered setbacks and challenges in the wilderness, there is a tendency for them to look back to Egypt. It is well said that although the Israelites came out of Egypt, Egypt is still very much in their hearts. The danger for us in this post pandemic era is to go back to old bad habits of complacency. Ministries starts picking up, churches are not just planning camps and retreats across the causeway but is beginning to fall back into the madness and busyness of life, opting to outsource ministries and more so children’s faith journey to the so call “experts” in the field.
Obviously, there is a place for engaging “experts,” but we must not forget that as parents and caregivers, it is our prerogative to journey with our children in their faith at home. Let us not be like the Israelites. We need to remove “Egypt” from our mindsets. Sunday school teachers and children’s organizations are there to support the parents and not replace the parents in their calling to be priests in their own household.
I hope the pandemic have forced us to look at the gold mine we are sitting on. We reap what we sow. This pandemic is not just a health crisis – it’s also a crisis of faith in our churches and homes that have utterly failed us. Without hope and faith in the future, people have little to live for. However, if we possess faith in all its rich and varied dimensions, anything is possible.
So, let us get started with the hard work and hard conversations together. Because whether you consider yourself an idealist or a realist, the path forward will be difficult for years to come. Let us at least make sure we are headed in a direction that our next generation can believe in and rebuild a future of hope, value, and possibility for all people in the journey of faith. Do not allow our Sunday school to become a childcare, our Sunday school teachers to become child minders, and curriculum to become entertainment. When Sunday school attendances become merely statistics and our children faceless, then our faith may just be one generation from extinction.
The Bible tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). This means that we must actively pursue our faith in order to please God. We must be willing to go on a spiritual journey and learn more about what it means to be a follower of Christ. We must also be willing to nurture our faith in order to help it grow.
Strategies for Rediscovering Faith @ Home:
- Find ways to connect with your faith @ home. There are many ways to do this, from reading the Bible to praying and meditating. Find something that works for you and make it a regular part of your routine.
- Create a spiritual home environment. Make your home a place to nurture your faith. Create a prayer corner, add a cross or other religious symbols to your walls, and make sure to have a Bible, devotional, and other spiritual books in your home to help you grow in your faith.
- Use Christian apps. There are many Christian apps available that can help you stay connected with your faith. From Bible reading plans to devotional podcasts and more, these apps can help you stay connected with your faith @ home.
- Follow faith-based Social media. Social media can be a great tool for staying connected with your faith. You can follow pages and accounts dedicated to faith-based topics, join trust-worthy discussion groups.
- Connect with other like-minded believers. Connecting with other like-minded believers can be a great source of support. Reach out to friends, family, and other believers to find encouragement and spiritual insight.
No matter what your spiritual journey looks like before the pandemic, rediscovering faith @ is ultimately about making a commitment to your spiritual life. It’s about taking the time to nurture your faith and grow in your relationship with God. It’s about making your home a place to practice your faith and connect with God.
Rev Tan Cheng Huat (Non-resident missionary to SQ)
January 8, 2023