Thinking about what’s old and new reminded me of the “new normal” everyone is craving after this last year and a half of fighting Covid. I have written about this topic early on in the pandemic, but since things are opening up, I thought I’d like to re-comment. Personally I think the “new normal” should be just that: new. Think about what has been brought to light by the pandemic: racial and social injustices in our political, medical, and judicial systems; school requirements, working and learning remotely, teacher and child care issues; problems in the supply chains; infrastructure issues (in the broad sense), to name a few. These are issues we all knew about—but the problems of the pandemic highlighted these challenges. But what good did we also see! We have seen a cleaner eco-system; the depth of kindness and compassion that humanity can have in the middle of a crisis; the appreciation of so much that went away from us due to Covid. Hidden gifts among our trials…
We have the opportunity in the midst of this mess to acknowledge our problems (the first step) and confront them; to appreciate and be grateful for what is important to us as humans and Christians. This is quite an amazing gift given in these challenging circumstances—but aren’t the best lessons we learn always the most difficult ones? Today in the Gospel Jesus gives a difficult lesson on faith to His Disciples: they are terrified instead of trusting and He demonstrates His power to solve anything. He quiets the seas and He saves them. They are awed at Jesus’ doing so, and I like to think this difficult and dangerous lesson of faith sticks with them. We do know it won’t—when you recall the denial and betrayal that comes later. Why can’t we learn the first time?
That is what worries me when I hear the talk of getting back to “normal.” I really want to believe that we can do so much better as a Community, a country and world. I want better than the old normal—like the salvation of Jesus gave us the “new” covenant of eternal life through His sacrifice. He is the example we are to follow. That would definitely mean some thoughtful and compassionate changes to systems and governments and businesses and bureaucracies, wouldn’t it? Our actions, choices, priorities would surely be affected, too. What would that look like and how to do this? I think it takes faith in action, faith in each other as we are all children of God, faith in co-creation with our Maker, faith in the Spirit we have all been given. Let’s do “new” as intended as we have the opportunity now to do so—not letting time pass and forgetting as we are wont to do. In the First Reading from Wisdom (Book of Job), Wisdom tells us that “justice is undying.” So should be our faith as Jesus reminds us today. Let’s do the “new” as Christ makes all things new.
Just a Note: The hymnals have returned! That is new and old—let’s make the most of what was missed. Please join in the sung prayer now that you may do so. I am looking forward to hearing the voice of the St. Aidan Assembly again!
More: Today we hear in the first reading how God set the sea and its’ boundaries. God is faithful with us. Here is a lovely song about faith and prayer by Chris Tomlin.