What is normal?
This is the question on many people’s minds at the present time as we gradually come out of lock down. What will be the new normal? For many that question will be focused around do I still have a job? Will the government still provide support and will it be enough to feed family and maintain a roof over our heads. As sporting events begin to be allowed to hear the noise and feel the presence of fans gathering again to watch them there is a powerful sense of a degree of normality returning.
Although as I sat down to write this month’s First Word the news had broken of a new European Super League of Football was hitting the news desks and causing much concern and acrimony with the recognition that much of these unwanted changes were being driven by the lust for money. Places of hospitality are re-opening provided social distancing is maintained and people follow the rules – so there is a degree of normality, but it still feels different from that which we knew before. Government suggest that 21 June will see the ending of restrictions - can we know this with certainty?
Likewise, the Royal family are moving on to a new normality without the Prince Philip as both they and many others mourn his death – the Queen’s strength and stay. The threads of life are resumed but now it is different. The present pandemic has brought with it immense changes and most people recognize that we must get used to a new normality and be looking forward rather than backwards.
For those first disciples they too must have wondered what was going to be the new norm now that Jesus had been crucified and yet was experienced as alive again. The gospels suggest that they returned to their old places of work to their homes and families. But they knew that life would never be normal again as they had known it. Jesus was reported as being alive and having been seen – this was not normal – how could this be and yet they knew this new normality to be true and were prepared to witness to it even unto death. Let the Easter message change you and the way you do things – let us experience the power of God’s Spirit in a new normal as we return to church.
Fr. Stuart Nairn