After I married April, I became joyfully aware I was then living in a new normal. The phrase, new normal, can certainly be over used. Its only appropriate when describing circumstances after a significant event that’s changed how life is. In August, we’ll celebrate 30 years of marriage, 30 years of what we know as normal.
9/11 changed everything in this country. Issues of security and self awareness in public settings and international travel restrictions became the new normal.
Families and communities who’ve experienced disaster or sickness or loss have to deal with the new reality after such events. People or resources or what you’ve grown accustomed to are now missing or significantly changed. What is normal is different than the way it was, and its not changing back.
The gospel lesson in the Daily Office in the Book of Common Prayer yesterday was from Luke 4. Jesus brought healing to Simon Peter’s mother-in-law. Afterward, the sick and troubled came to him for relief. What struck me in these verses was the close of a day and the dawn of something new.
As the sun waned and the day was ending, the hurting and their loved ones came to where the Lord was. Perhaps the word spread of Peter’s mother-in-law being healed. Regardless, they were losing day light, but even that didn’t deter the spiritually hungry and the physically sick.
When it was appropriate for human activity to slow and stop for sleep and rest, this day continued because the troubled and suffering sought with passion Jesus’ power for their healing, deliverance, salvation and wholeness. Daylight was unimportant. Their day of salvation had come.
At daybreak, he left for deserted territory. Crowds sought and found him to keep him from leaving. At daybreak, his intention was to go to other places to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom. They pursued him to keep him with them. Curiously, in Nazareth, the crowd wanted to seize him in their clutches to throw him off a cliff, In Capernaum, they wanted to hold him close to them. As in Nazareth, he couldn’t let them grab him for their purposes.
The sick wanting only what Jesus provided kept the day going regardless of the hour. The natural thing was to wind down, but the needy sought Jesus’ best for them. Time and sunlight didn’t matter. Now, the natural thing to do is to seek wholeness from Jesus alone. The coming of the incarnation into human circumstances has been the most significant thing to occur in human history. Nothing equals it. All that follows is the new normal. Emmanuel, God with us, has changed everything.
At the break of a new day, Jesus couldn’t be stopped. They wanted him to stay with them. Now, this isn’t normal. It may be the new normal to pursue Jesus, the Incarnate One, the Anointed One, and find complete wholeness to all that ails them, but its not normal or natural to stop Jesus in his mission to tell of the Kingdom of God beyond Capernaum.
They might of thought it was the new normal to domesticate Jesus, keep him down on the farm. No, the new normal was to find complete deliverance in him only and to watch the Kingdom of God spread beyond them to their whole world in the person and name of Jesus.
In this day, we live in the Post New Normal. The advent of Jesus, God in the flesh, revealed what God’s kingdom looked like through one who completely surrendered to the Father’s will. It was attractive to the hurting and broken, both Jew and Gentile. Everything changed. A New Normal. Since the resurrection of Jesus (the defeat of sin and death) and Pentecost (the coming of Holy Spirit into believers), the Post New Normal is the dawn of a new day. The same Spirit of God that lived in Jesus lives in the believer of Jesus.
We have been called forth for 2,000 years to step into our roles as carriers of the power and love in the Spirit of God, as Jesus did, to a world that still is hurting and broken. We’re empowered in his name to destroy the works of the devil and reveal the elemental nature of God’s love and what it can do in this world that the Father still loves.
As he is so are we in this world, a Post New Normal community of all things being possible in the Savior’s name.