Time Between the Times 1 Chronicles 12:32 Sunday, May 3, 2020 Trace Ridge Baptist Church Pastor Steve Street
The Old Testament books of 1 and 2 Chronicles are a history of the nation of Israel. In 1 Chronicles 12:32 there is a passing remark about the tribe of Issachar, “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” We know very little about this tribe or the chiefs who led the people. However we do know that they understood the circumstances they were living in as opportunities to serve God. The tribal leaders of Issachar had sided against King Saul in favor of the future king, David. They were living in times between the times. When we are still trying to figure out what is happening around us, it is productive to see our “time between the times” as opportunities for God to work among us.
The COVID19 virus has certainly left us in a time between the times.
We interrupted a growing economy with a near shut down of the economy. Realities we had learned to live with have suddenly been put on hold; we don’t know what post-COVID19 life will look like. We are in the “time between the times.” Leaders to whom we have turned are trying to figure things out: politicians, doctors, economist, educators, farmers, manufacturers are all trying the figure out the times we are living in.
Alan Hirsch has been a church consultant for many years. Hirsch used the analogy of a chess game to help us see our mysterious transitions as opportunities for God to work among us. If you want to learn how to play chess well, you should start by removing your own queen. The queen is the most powerful piece. Once you have mastered the game without the most powerful piece, then put the queen back on the board and see how much you have improved. For the church, the Sunday worship service is our queen—our most powerful ministry function. We have been relying on it too much. Now the queen has been taken off the board and it’s time to rediscover what all the other pieces can do.