I read an article recently which had the title ‘Normal again, thanks for COVID 19.’ It was an unusual title for a timely article. In a world where we often define ourselves by what we do, or perhaps what we are seen to do, the removal of the usual structures can helpfully bring us to address what it means to be a Christian and how we can serve the Lord and his people faithfully. In other words, what it means to be a ‘normal’ Christian. The author reminds us:
“In a way, being a Christian as opposed to merely doing Christian things goes against the grain of our highly scheduled, efficiency-focused, results-oriented culture. Maybe it takes a global pandemic to make us realize we’ve made the Christian life more busy than it needs to be.”
Whilst so much has changed in recent weeks, what really matters has not: God, his word, his love, his purposes, his promises in Jesus – the fact that the church is being built by Jesus, that Jesus is interceding for us; that Jesus will come again. We may know these truths, but at times like this we are forced, helpfully, to believe them, even when much of our normal ‘activity’ has changed. Thankfully our identity is not defined by our programmes or our busyness, but by Jesus. We can still live the Christian life, perhaps all the more when some of the structures we rely upon are stripped away.
It is said that unchanging realities produce unshakable Christians. It would be great to be praying that such truths would define us more and more – not only as we seek to live Christian lives in lockdown, but as we learn lessons for when the lockdown is lifted.