Those who seem to know about things are telling us that we need to just accept a “new normal” because of the COVID-19 virus. That this “new normal” involves things like social distancing, wearing a face covering of some sort, and very limited physical contact (if any at all) with those outside of your immediate family.
They say that if you don’t abide by these “new normal” standards then you are being selfish. One person I know on social media even said you were not being a Christian if you don’t just accept these new rules for what is “normal.”
I don’t think so! First, there may be some changes to how we do things, but there is really nothing new about change.
In the beginning God spoke directly to the patriarch of the family. Then God spoke directly to Moses and provided a “new” law for His people. Then God communicated with priests, then prophets, and, finally, He sent Jesus.
Once Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, He gave His disciples a commission, a Great Commission. He told them to tell everyone everywhere the saving message of the gospel.
So the disciples started in Jerusalem, then in Judea and Samaria, and then to the ends of the earth to tell others about God’s love for them. A few wrote biographies of Jesus’ life, several wrote letters that have been preserved for us that communicates God’s will for our lives.
So what is my point? That change is nothing new. While God Himself has never changed, He did change the way He revealed His will for mankind. So we can change the way we interact with each other.
While some of the more “extreme” changes will hopefully not last (like the frowning upon even a handshake as too much “physical contact”), perhaps these momentary changes to our “normal” will help us in a lasting way, that will make “normal” better.
Maybe we’ll hold that handshake or hug a little longer...perhaps it will be a little more sincere even. Maybe we’ll not take assembling together for worship for granted. Maybe we’ll enjoy fellowship outside of our assembly times more often. Maybe we’ll start to look for reasons to come together with our Christian family, rather than using any and every excuse to stay apart.
And maybe, just maybe, we’ll understand and appreciate the urgency of Jesus’ commission to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations...maybe even making disciples in our own neighborhood!