Listen here or scroll down to keep reading.
I catch myself everywhere I go (and yes, I still have to go some places!) thinking about all the other hands that may have touched the surfaces I am touching. And then I think, “Will I keep worrying about this when it is all over?!”
And I have heard some others refer to our current way of life as the “new norm.” Yesterday I listened to someone pontificating about how restaurants and bars will “space out” their tables more even after this is in our past.
Of course, I have no idea what “after this” is going to look like. But in this holiest of weeks of the year when we remember the final days of Jesus and the drama that he and his followers lived through, I think that those first disciples must have thought about a “new normal.” They must have, as Thursday and Friday unfolded, thought that they were going to have to adjust to this new norm; that the life they had with Jesus, the faith and new hope was now gone. That the “new norm” was trying to live a life without Jesus.
The thought of my affliction and my homelessness is wormwood and gall! My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, God’s mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in God.”Lamentations 3:19-24
Of course, we hear these stories and know that God wasn’t done. It may have seemed that the disciples were going to have to adjust to a new norm — but God had something more in store.
The promise of Easter is that there is forever and always something beyond the “new norm.” No matter how dark or bleak or lonely or scary the present moment, God has something else in store. Something that is full of life and hope and grace and joy.
So, when you catch yourself saying “new norm” or “I am going to buy stock in Purell,” pause a moment and remember the echo from the empty tomb, “He is risen!” Because God isn’t about bleak and scary — God is always about life out of death, light out of dark, and community out of isolation.