The words “Opening Day” fills this Detroit Tiger fan with joy and hope as a new baseball season dawns. Did you see the Tigers play last year? Trust me, the feeling doesn’t last long. “Opening Day” also brings joy to my friends who love to go into the woods, see one of God’s impressive creatures, a monster buck white tail deer, and shoot him dead.
An “Opening Song or Opening Act” brings excitement for the concert or theatre goers. The show is finally starting.
A “Grand Opening” brings joy too. I’ve prayed at the Grand Opening of a Chick-fil-a (My magnificent prayer didn’t give me free sandwiches for a year. Rats). I’ve also prayed for a Grand Opening of a Lowe’s home improvement store (It closed about a year ago. I’m not sure what that says about my magnificent praying skills but I digress).
A “Soft Opening” refers to the quiet thrill of starting a business to make sure all the kinks have been worked out before the grand opening. One of my favorite lines in the movie Ocean’s Thirteen is when the character Saul Bloom doesn’t quite understand what a “soft opening” is. He says, “When they opened The Flamingo, one day it was closed, the next it was open. End of story. I know. I was there.”
But the word, I’m waiting for is Re-Opening. When will businesses re-open? What is the right time to re-open? What will happen if we re-open too soon? And on this pastor’s mind: When will the church re-open?
We all know what is meant by the question: When can we gather and sing God’s praises with a crowd of like-minded friends? When will we have some semblance to the church life we had pre-pandemic? No one wants that more than me!
But maybe, just maybe, we don’t need to pray for a re-opening of the church as much as we need to pray that our Heavenly Father might re-open our eyes to the needs around us. Re-open our Bibles and seek God’s truth. Re-open our hearts to compassion. Re-open our minds and imagine how God might lead us through this pandemic. Re-open our checkbooks (do people still use checkbooks?) and be generous in funding the mission of God. Re-open our commitment to the church’s main task: Making Christ-like disciples in the nations.
We all want to re-open the church, but first let’s re-open our lives for the Master’s use.