Physically Distant, Socially Close: The New Normal

  • What is your new normal? Is it truly new? And more importantly, does it move us to God’s norm.
  • Rest. Let creativity flow into you from the Spirit. Trying to press into things all the time is a false premise.
  • Do keep doing what we can in community. But perhaps look at the ‘traditional’ evangelism the other way round … preach the word through action, yes, but look also to when you can use words.
  • Pretty much all we do in a “traditional” church service is based on words: read, hear, sing. We may benefit from thinking of others who do not have words (the Instagram generation) and who do not easily sit still and listen.

The new normal is not the old normal with a different hat on.

A new pandemic has been declared –  but not for the millions who will die each day from starvation, wars, terrorism. Before you panic, consider them.

  • Think of Palm Sunday – the joy and exultation.
  • Think of the Passion – the pain and despair.
  • Think of the Resurrection – which helps us see how life really is now; a new normal which is not the same as the old.

So how can we move FORWARD to normality?

Money and possessions have become a narcotic to us; we do not notice our prosperity or others’ want. When the pandemic started, suddenly everyone ‘needed’ toilet roll … why? Was that the herd mentality? We just needed some treasure to stash away and store.

Sabbath is a space that God asks us to take so that we can focus on who God is. Lockdown is a gift within which we can focus on sabbath in a way many (all of us, perhaps?) have not been able to do in the past and may not even be able to do in the future.

We should consider not using the term social distancing but “physical distancing.” Social distancing indicates we are isolating away from community. Many people have suffered from social distancing for years. Ironically, as people look out for each other in the community, the SOCIAL distancing is being reduced even whilst the PHYSICAL is being maintained

Social media contributes to the idea of absence being a cultural norm – you don’t have to be physical there in order to be close to people. This is true, but is not a wholesome long term plan. We can use social media to bridge the gap of physical distancing, but don’t let it be the defining reality of all interaction.

[from Timothy Pitt]

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