Finding the Kingdom During Covid 19

Finding the Kingdom During Covid 19

March 2020

I sat with a towel twisting my wet hair up on our bed, back in our master, while our worship pastor, our children’s director and my husband sat no more than 10 yards away and I listened to their honest, pure, worship. Tears began to fill behind my eyes and threatened to stream down my face. The words that rang throughout my house were, “You are making all things new…” And yet, as I sat in bed with a fever and a desperation to heal quicker, I knew and loved that my church was still being a church.

In the Confusion

This time with the craziness of Covid-19 has been a whirlwind or as some have referred to as being like the movie, Groundhog’s Day… over and over. Social media has gone RIDICULOUS with people now having free time to spout off their thoughts and ideas about the situation (I’ve seen an immense amount of good come out of our situations) but this morning… I could just be… and listen… and softly sing to my King while no one watched. Honestly, I could barely get the words out. Here’s the conclusion I’ve come to amidst all of this chaos and disorder:

  • I’ve found peace where once my heart was jumbled and stressed.
  • I’ve been able to breathe, really breathe in, and experience pure joy with my kids daily.
  • I’ve been able to dig into Scripture and geek out to the possibilities I find there.
  • I’ve been able to worship with no one watching.
  • I’ve been able to spend time reaching out to my church family more regularly to ask for or pray for them.
  • I’ve watched my kids settle in and just be… without the crazy amount of time constraints they used to have.
  • I’ve been able to see all of my church family’s faces via Zoom and laugh with them.
  • I’ve watched our church family come together in a tighter knit community to support and love on each other even virtually.

Chaos and the Church

It’s not the same… we can’t meet together collectively. It’s not normal… we aren’t allowed to worship together in the same room anymore. It’s not even similar… we are spending church virtually instead of spending next to flesh and blood. But here’s the thing… we are meeting separately… but we are together in spirit.

We’ve got to let go our our stubbornness… our resentment for how things were handled… our need to want things our way… and move into a time of healing, rest, and thankfulness that we live in a time and age where we can still meet- even if virtually.

I think back to one of the first Sunday’s after Jesus’ death. We find the disciples and Jesus’s followers spread out all over the city of Jerusalem… hiding. Some followers had even left the city and were headed home to Emmaus. But when Jesus finally appears to them in Luke 24, they think he’s a ghost. They can’t even believe he’s back!

The Kingdom they thought was coming… didn’t.

The life they thought Jesus had alluded to- was completely upside down.

I mean- the guy they’d been following around had been preaching of a new Kingdom… and then, whelp, he was killed. And now, they were huddled in a house, just waiting for something and thinking that there was no way this Kingdom was going to happen anymore.

“Then he said to them, “Don’t you remember the words that I spoke to you when I was still with you? I told you that everything written about me would be fulfilled, including all the prophecies from the law of Moses through the Psalms and the writings of the prophets—that they would all find their fulfillment.”  He supernaturally unlocked their understanding to receive the revelation of the Scriptures,  then said to them, “Everything that has happened fulfills what was prophesied of me. Christ, the Messiah, was destined to suffer and rise from the dead on the third day.  Now you must go into all the nations and preach repentance and forgiveness of sins so that they will turn to me. Start right here in Jerusalem.  For you are my witnesses and have seen for yourselves all that has transpired. And I will send the fulfillment of the Father’s promise to you. So stay here in the city until the mighty power of heaven falls upon you and wraps around you.”

Here’s what’s crazy about us humans: we think we’re soooo smart. The disciples thought it was all over when their Savior was killed (and who’s to say we wouldn’t have thought the same?) They thought the Kingdom that Jesus preached, would never rise up. And yet, it did.

The Kingdom is happening around us. I’m seeing it in the faces of people who are selflessly dropping off food on our porch so that my husband doesn’t have to scramble to make dinner for all of us after taking care of us all day. I hear it in the voices worshipping from my living room. I receive it from the texts and social media messages that encourage and build me up with promises of prayer and healing. I read about it through the words of my King in scripture. I feel the Kingdom when I pray while weeping when no one is watching. It is all around us. God is with us.. even when we feel like church isn’t normal. The Kingdom is here… do you feel it?


Two years ago, when the beginnings of a church plant formed in my husband’s mind, it was just the thought of a church that would share truth, give grace and love others.  It wasn’t until our family was driving down our city’s freeway (at rush hour) that a name for our church even crossed our minds.

“What about Thrive?” my husband leaned over slightly in his seat, his hands on the wheel, his eyes squinting slightly with that crooked half smile on his face that means he knows he onto something.

“Really?”  I tried to act nonchalant about it.  “I mean… just Thrive?”

But it stuck to us in a way that hasn’t gotten away from us.  It was, in essence, exactly what we wanted to communicate with the community that flowed around us.  When people would ask us, “Why Thrive?” our response was always to point them towards John 10:10 where Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  

Here’s the thing about the Pharisees.  They were the “religious and pious” people of the day.  People looked to them for spiritual guidance.   As far as they were concerned, they did have life to the full.   They were extreme and followed the Law down to the letter, but they missed the Messiah when he was standing right in front of them.  They had become stagnant in their faith… and self-righteous in their lives.

When looking back at my own crazy life, I realize how stagnant and self-righteous I had become.  You cannot pretend to be connected to God and still thrive.  You cannot not just attend church and think that you are connecting with those you share a pew with.   I had become comatose in the daily life of laundry, wiping up messes, and smoothing over emotions.  In my complacency, I chose to judge others when I should have been reaching out in encouragement.  I looked down upon the down-and-out, when I should have been extending a helping hand.  I had gossiped and lied to my friends, when I should have been dropping to my knees asking God for help with my bitterness.  I am completely guilty of all of this and more.  But several years ago, Jesus opened my eyes to the life He wanted me to live.   Instead of harshly pointing out my flaws, he pointed to what could be.  If I chose, I could be a great friend to all; one who gives grace and aims to trust, before being suspicious.  I could be someone who is actively looking for ways to show Jesus’ love for others who don’t know Him through serving them selflessly.  I could give… and give… and give… of my time to mentor newly married younger women.  I could stop being selfish when it came to Sunday mornings… and volunteer in the Kids’ Ministry.

When I began choosing these things (to connect with God and with those who believe in Him) I finally learned what it meant to thrive.  Sure, I don’t thrive every single day… I am human and still have my messes (including my large basket of laundry I have yet to put away!!) but I am making progress.  Christ has led me here.

It’s not just surviving anymore… We can begin to thrive, and live life to the full!