Omicron

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“When can we get back to normal?”

Asking a question like that is as human as human can be.

When we come out of the womb, our brains run on a default program that always looks for the easy way.

This is good. Our species made it this long because our brains work behind the scenes to figure out what is “normal” and to keep us there. That way, our bodies save energy. We stay safe in places that we know or at least know well enough that we can guess the best thing to do in them.

This is why we always want to snap back to “normal,” most of all in times when nothing feels normal.

Along with a brain, however, each one of us is born with an imagination. Something within us that strives to break out of “normal” to explore the wilds and maybe even make a new and better “normal”.

This is the divine spark, the great power that comes with great responsibility, the Holy Spirit of God.

Christians are people who come to believe in this gift from God and who work to submit it to the purpose and will of God, which is love.

So while it is human nature to snap back to “normal,” it is the Divine nature to give abnormal love for abnormal times. The Divine does not put the world back together as we had it before; it leads us “further up and further in” to new worlds forming and flourishing with the love of God.

In these pandemic times, it is human nature to “get back to normal.”

In these pandemic times, however, Christians are people pressing “further up and further in” to the Spirit of God to find our way to the “new normal” that is growing from the Divine love.

We are practicing, not for the world that was or the world that is, but the world that our faith and hope convinces us will be.

Because we are caught up in the Spirit of the Divine love, we know that our practice for the world to come must be active love for those who can only see the world that is.

That means that we Christians do not respond to the pandemic and its effects the way that most people do. We go beyond what is “normal” for human beings in times like these. We go beyond human decency. We go beyond mandates.

We hold ourselves to the Divine standard of love, the Spirit that calls us “further up and further in.”

As our Christ showed us, we lay down our lives, our possessions, and our rights to love our neighbors and wash their feet in humble service.

We change our choices and habits as consumers, we get our shots, we keep our distance, and we wear our masks in the same way that our Christ washed feet the night before he hung on a cross to save a world that hated him. We die to ourselves so that others might live.

And as healing and helping were the hallmarks of the Christ’s ministry on Earth, so healing and helping must be the obsession of his Christians now.

Does the world not need healing now?

Does the world not need helping now?

Has the church of Christ ever had a greater chance in this generation to practice the life of its Christ and walk by the Spirit of Divine love?

Omicron will be the latest and perhaps greatest test yet of our faith, hope, and–most of all–love.

What will we do?

So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith (Letter to the Galatians 6:9-10).

Grace and peace.

 
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