A Time Of Exile

We do love a bit of Tom Wright, so excuse us for taking a look at this recent article about him and his new book (God and the Pandemic) on Time.

Exile is classic biblical language and is appropriate for this time under the coronavirus pandemic in which our church buildings were forced to close. The Israelites experienced a number of periods of exile, the two best known being their time in Egypt and their time in Babylon, which most people will know from Boney M's 1978 song version of Psalm 137 "By the rivers of Babylon...".

Over the course of this pandemic and our exile, we've had a few conversations with fellow Christians who see it quite differently. Some see it as an unnecessary punishment on the church, some see it as an attack on the church and some see it as the church being shut down. We see this time as none of these things. Rather, we agree with Tom Wright and believe that the way to view this current situation is as a period of exile, so much so that at The Gathering we used the language of exile from the get-go.

We particularly like how Tom doesn't really answer the question in this article so much as guide our thoughts towards our own conclusions. For us we would agree that this is a time for declaring that we're not where we want to be, we won't forget Jerusalem (church/The Gathering) but we will as Jeremiah said (29:7) "seek the welfare of the city" as we settle down in to this regime, knowing that it is time limited and God will lead us out of it.

There are lessons in there about praying for our leaders, as we are instructed to in scripture (1 timothy 2:1-2) and for continuing to work for the neediest and most vulnerable to assist them in making it through this time.


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