What is the Lord doing in this Covid-19 time? He is reshaping and getting the church ready for the new wine He wants to pour out in these last days. He is getting the new wineskins ready for new wine.
A wineskin was made from the stomach of a sheep and was able to expand with the new wine that was going through the process of fermentation. Both the skin and the wine were preserved
The way we do church is how wineskins are formed. There were very many good things about how we did church in the past, but God wants us to go forward into the new He has for us. That means we have to reconsider and yield and become flexible in His hands. Jesus is challenging us that we cannot put new ideas into old practices.
Up to just recently, the idea was very prominent that church was about numbers, big gatherings, and conferences. However, He has shown us that He wants to be with us and impart Himself to us: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in their midst” (Matt 18:20). At different times during the last seven months we have been forced to be in small, intimate groups, meeting in homes and on Zoom. He has been intentional about meeting with us in a fresh way.
We have had to be flexible, recording with three people present, livestreaming with twenty, fifty or more present, depending on the restrictions on ‘in person’ meetings. As a congregation, we have seriously considered how the early church operated.
One thing we have noticed in the lockdown time is how much we are concentrating on prayer, both individually and corporate, using technology to assist us to connect on an ongoing basis.
As a church we have been interceding for our nation, seeds of prayer have been sown, and we have been thrust out to reach our country in a powerful way, doing practical work as well as being with many leaders who have needed encouragement in the north, east and south of the country. The Lord enabled us through livestream to touch thousands each week with a fresh word. This would not have been on our radar if circumstances had not pushed us out of our comfort zone.
In a similar way, you cannot patch up an old garment with a new patch, He wants to give us new life, new wine, new hope, new everything. Let us open ourselves up for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit, in our lives, families and church family.