There are moments when I forget about everything that is going on in the world today. Glimpses of normal (whatever that might be!). It usually happens as I am hiking in the woods with my family or snuggling in for a movie with pizza and popcorn. For that moment, life feels right. Life feels comfortable and easy. And then, in a blink of an eye, the reality of the world comes rushing back to me.
I cannot imagine what I once defined as “normal” will ever be normal again. Our world is changing more quickly than we often want to admit. And normal, as we often define it, means comfortable and how things have always been. We want what is normal because it does not stretch us or challenge us or pain us. We want to go back to a prior time because then we can just forget about the reality of today.
And yet, Jesus is not one to encourage comfy, cozy faith. He calls out the hypocrites. He challenges enemies to love and serve one another. He pronounces forgiveness to the outcasts of society. He loves without conditions. This is the faith that Jesus calls us to.
As people hurl hateful words and divisive actions at one another, Jesus calls us to a new way. A way that is not comfortable or easy, but is loving, hopeful and just. The way we are church will not go back to how it has always been, but perhaps this is God’s opportunity for us to find a new way forward. Perhaps, this will be the new normal!