Why Settle for Normalcy?

The first prayer that I heard on the first Sabbath of the pandemic was a plea for “normal times.” Last Sabbath someone else on the service via Zoom made this same plaintive plea for normalcy. It made me wonder, what is normalcy? And what does it mean when we tell ourselves that we want to get back to it? “Normal” isn’t coming back. The question many of us are asking is this: “How might the church change to achieve a ‘new’ normal? What is normalcy for the church and for us as individuals?”


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11247
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Our Sam. Thank you! You did it.

Great questions that you ask and profound insights that you share.

I remember one time when I went to an Anglican Church service some years ago. The sermon was about the blind man healed by Jesus. Surprisingly, I realized in this moment that I had always identified unconsciously with the hero of the story, with Jesus. And more: I was almost always the hero of all biblical stories. But the Reverend identified us with the man that needed healing. This was a paradigm shift for me and helped me to see everyone around me as in need for healing, me included. It changed how I view the biblical stories. I am not the super hero, never was, never will be, but I depend on the super hero. And so does everyone else.

So, are we all together normal or together abnormal? I don’t know, but I know that we are all connected somehow, in search for love and healing and relationship. Realizing this oneness is maybe what you call “above normal” in your article, Sam. It gives me more food for thought.

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Thank you Sam for the inspiring thoughts. In addition to the “legalism” definition you used we should also add all the other “isms” that are improperly used to define stages of normal or abnormal e.g. liberalism, progresivism, conservatism, and others. These are all “narrower and narrower definitions of normal” as you mentioned. Instead of praying for a worldly “new normal” to return we should understand that these increasingly abnormal conditions are the birthing pains of the true and only normal that will begin when Jesus returns. Few or none will come to this understanding without diligent study of Jesus’ Word and faith in His promise of delivery.

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