“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.” Isaiah 60:1 (NIV)
It’s 2022 and it’s time for the church to get up, stretch and be on its way to revival. After nearly two years of the church being told to lay low due to lockdown measures, many of us have become used to a lazy church. For most of this new decade, we have accessed church from the comfort of our couch and most of us, our beds. We have gotten used to online activities and have forgotten what it felt like to go to Sunday service, midweek Bible study and in person prayer meetings. We used to serve others, being committed to the local church and working for God in it. Now we are even sceptical of physical fellowship, and deprioritise the boost we need from church activities.
Yet, this is the year for us to shake off the slumber and get active again. Now that we are getting up, we are in need of a good stretch. The church, that is you and I, need to plan for more and do more. We, as individuals, need to stretch ourselves this year for the kingdom so we can be ready for what God has in store for the church - He will use you and I to do it. This is the demonstration we give to our children and youth who are behind us.
The church is not a building, it is a living organism made of people who need to be active. God has given every single person a gift and a talent to be developed and stretched so that it can be used at its full potential, for His service. To get there we all need to stretch. If we consider the physical body, stretching is important because it keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. We need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without stretching, the muscles shorten and become tight. So then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. This is exactly what it's like in the body of Christ. If we don’t stretch ourselves and challenge ourselves with daily spiritual stretching, when God calls for us for a specific spiritual assignment or if we face a trial or temptation, we will be weak and unable to extend ourselves at the crucial time.
If we want to experience that Isaiah 60 glory, we need a good morning stretch so that we can truly arise and shine!
Further Study: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, Romans 12:4-8, Ephesians 4:11-16, 1 Corinthians 15:34