It is an understatement to say that life as we know it has been drastically changed. In a very short time, the old normal has become the new normal. During this time my family moved from being together for a baptism to having our daily lives restricted. Our jubilation turned into concern for the whole world. Most of our St. Andrew’s family has had similar experiences. As a church family we have gone from worshipping together at St. Andrew’s to worshipping via live streaming, from meeting physically with children and youth to sharing virtual experiences. This has been the experience of most, if not all other churches.
However, the new normal must not stand. God has not forsaken us, and we must not forsake Him. With the strength and courage that only God can give we will face every day with confidence. We will have peace and hope because we know to whom we belong, and we still have each other.
Can some good come out of this chaos? Sensitive hearts will grieve for the families who have lost loved ones, while words of praise will be said for those who have been on the front line fighting the virus. Joy will return when the victory is won, and it will be won and then we can again embrace one another with Christian love. But why wait?
No, it isn’t the same, but we can embrace one another with words of kindness, concern, and love. Why not use this “down time” to seriously communicate with God and others we know and love? There are many ways to reach out to others. We are all familiar with social media. Why put off doing what your heart is telling you to do? What is God saying to you? After all, all we really have in this world is God and each other. Love may not be able to cure the coronavirus, but expressions of love and concern can go a long way toward helping us deal with it. This is one of the “goods” that can come out of this chaos.
As the coronavirus quickly changed our lives, so Jesus discovered how quickly His circumstances could change. On Sunday Jesus entered Jerusalem to the cheers of the crowd, but by Friday he was being jeered as the crowd called for his death. On Sunday he was being treated like a king, but on Friday he was treated like a criminal. Crucify him, the crowd said. His time on earth was coming to an end. He was completing His mission in the face of hate, anger, and persecution. Could any good come from this?
Yes, if we listen. The last prayer of Jesus before going to the Garden of Gethsemane was about unity and love. At least three times he asked the Father to “let them be one as you and I are one.” May God help us in this difficult time to also focus on unity and love. It is the good that may come from the chaos.
We will get through this because God is in it with us, not as a spectator, but as a participant. The new normal will not stand. I know this because God’s got this.