When will things be back to normal, back to the way they were? I hear that question, a lament in a sense, voiced often. I ponder it myself. We don’t like this place we find ourselves, don’t want to be here, and want to go back to what we know, what’s comfortable and familiar. Nearing the end of their 40 year pilgrimage through the wilderness, the Israelites found themselves in much the same circumstance. Their response? Let’s go back to Egypt.
Change is hard, especially when it comes to our faith lives. Most of us have to come to a relationship with God within a faith community. We chose to be members of the Newtonville congregation because something, or perhaps several things, about it fit for us. We encounter and reconnect with God in worship, in acts of service, and gathered community. Yet, now we find ourselves in a very different place and wonder - when we can go back?
Here’s the thing – I don’t think we should go back to exactly where we were, even if we were able to. Hear me out. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go back to gathering in person for worship and service, and that doesn’t mean we should keep doing everything online. What I mean is that we have an opportunity to explore our core values, to reconsider what it means to be the church and better understand what it means to be in community.
Easter reminds us that new life comes with new definitions: “So then, from this point on we won’t recognize people by human standards. Even though we used to know Christ by human standards, that isn’t how we know him now. So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived!” (2 Corinthians 5:16-17) We will come out of this changed. The question is, “what will be look like?”
The answer is yet to be determined.
Peace for the journey,