But what if the normal we once experienced was inadequate and God is using this moment to jar us from complacency?
It’s common to hear people long for a quick return to normal these days. The crisis brought about by COVID-19 has left many Christian leaders reeling and disoriented. “When can we get back to the way things used to be?” Implicit in this question is the assumption that the old normal was entirely good.
But what if the normal we once experienced was inadequate and God is using this moment to jar us from complacency? What if our ‘good ol’ days’ weren’t at all reminiscent of the ‘original normal’?
Our previous normal was certainly convenient—it only required an hour or two on a Sunday for most of us. And it was entertaining as we weekly evaluated whether or not we enjoyed the worship experienced. And it was easy—for most it simply meant sitting still and listening for an hour (or at least look like we were listening.)
But my question remains, “Is this the normal that we really need to return to?” Is this the thing that God meant for us?
Let’s reflect on the opening paragraph of Luke’s testimony about the Antioch church:
Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. (Acts 13:1-3)
This scene gives witness to the original normal of the church. It’s a picture of the way the church is meant to function. It provides insight into the poverty of our former normal and should create …
Source: Christianity Today Magazine