Apparently, we believers are late to the party and, as usual, have actually turned up demanding that everyone does things our way. The ‘party’ in this present case is the ‘new normal’ way of life that has been imposed on us all. I refuse to be dragged into the politics of whether it is a valid situation or not, that doesn’t really matter because this is the new normal. Although, as I am finding while studying Theology, we like to discuss more than we like to do, we have to accept at some point that this is happening. We, as the Church of God, have to engage at some point. We have some awesome gifts and abilities that we could be bringing to the party to help others cope with and deal with this new normal but as usual, we are late and insisting that we don’t have to do anything that we don’t want to do. Like some spoilt teenager throwing a hissy fit, we are refusing to be the awesome ambassadors of God that we were created to be.
Within our midst are people with fantastic creative abilities. We have more than our fair share of techy nerds who could have been putting their knowledge to good use finding ways that we could spend time together in some virtual way or other and yet we still have large numbers of churches across this green and pleasant land that are stumbling through their Sunday morning services in the most clunky of manners. There are a lot of great examples of how to use the internet and the technology we currently have to our advantage for the new church experience but six months after this all kicked off it is still not the new normal. Instead, it appears that we would rather just get upset that we can’t be expected to change and deal with it.
I’m not going to claim that I know all the answers but I’m savvy enough to know that if I start having a go I had best offer something. So, how about we start with a dialogue with any gamers that we can get to lift their heads from their screens for long enough to converse. These guys have been playing games with people on the other side of the planet for years now and so should be able to advise against that petty view that says “I can’t be expected to really fellowship with people that are not in the same building”. Again, we are late to the party. This is the new normal and so we do need to adapt. A part of this adaption could lead us to a place where the people that have been forced to isolate for years because of physical issues or mental health issues or many other reasons can have badly needed contact and fellowship. The problems that this new normal brings can actually lead to solutions to other problems that have been around for years.
Another of our, apparently, unsurpassable problems concerns the ruling that singing in enclosed public spaces is banned. I have lived in a few rehabs and recovery houses over the last few years and a part of these experiences is knowing that singing aloud is not always the best way to witness. I just can’t be explaining myself to everyone that I live with and so rather than have people think that I’m a crazed zealot, I have learnt to mouth the words while I sing under my breath. If we could all do this we could then sing silently while wearing face coverings and not break any rules. Maybe, maybe not but we are in the new normal and we need to do something because I for one am less likely to attend a church service where worship is just a thing of the past.
As I have already said, we are a group of people that have a wide variety of God-given gifts and it saddens me that we can’t pool our resources and lead the way into this new order. I’m as good a sniper as anyone else and can sit on the sidelines taking potshots at the players like so many other believers or I can put my rifle down and help out. I’ve allowed myself to be too ‘busy’ to get involved but now that I am a lot more comfortable in my dwelling-place in God’s Grace County I’ve got a stronger desire to connect with and fellowship with rather than isolate like this new normal is leading to.