It’s hard to believe that we have been living in a life experience we never expected for six weeks. We have been asked to social distance to protect the safety of others and for our own safety. It has forced us to stop living the normal life we live. This moment has given us a time to stop. For many of us it has been a time to rest, to reconnect with our families, to get some things done around our lives that we have put off, and to sit with ourselves quite a bit. I’ve heard from many that this season redirected them back to the most important things in their lives. It has been a time for a new self awareness of what is important; a time of renewal.

I have been spending a lot more time on social media than I normally do and there have been some great posts. But one in particular stood out to me. This post, by Dave Hollis, read, “In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.” We have this wonderful moment, in the midst of crisis, to really reexamine what is important in our lives and when this is over continue those things.

Two words have stood out to me over the past few weeks: “new normal” and “essential”. When this crisis is over, I believe normal will be quite different and we will hold much tighter and value the essentials that life is really about. Another post read, “I think that when the dust settles, we will realize how little we need, how very much we actually have, and the true value of human connection.”

Jesus came into the world at a time of world crisis. There were many people having to live quarantined lives because of strict religious purification laws along with cultural and political oppression by the Romans. Then Jesus comes along and says these powerful words, “Repent and believe, the Kingdom of God is here.” To repent means to recognize that the way life being lived isn’t working and to believe, trust, that there is a better way. Jesus went onto say “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Jesus was saying, I have come to show you a better way to live, believe and trust me, and then follow me.

I am seeing Jesus in our community through compassion, generosity, concern for others, reconciliation of family members and old friends, and sacrifice for others. Let’s embrace how this moment is bringing out the best in us and may the new normal be about the essential things. Let’s look to the ways Jesus lived and loved others and may the life he promised be the “New Normal.”

By Pastor Peter Foster, The Gathering Church. Sermon Notes is a column by local religious leaders.

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