First Monday in Advent

Today’s Word: ‘Normal’ as in… the normal we knew isn’t the normal we’ll know.

If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a thousand times over the past several months: “I hope we can get back to normal!” I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m willing to bet you‘ve said that a time or two yourself. And why not? There hasn’t been a time quite like this that any of us can remember. When we talk about ‘getting back to normal’ someone should really set us down and gently remind us that we’re not going back to any version of normal that we once knew. We’ll only be going forward to the way it will be. The normal we knew isn’t the normal we’ll know.

That’s the ‘next normal.’ And that is very good news.

That’s why this season of Advent is so important for us as we continue our momentum not just toward Christmas, but into the year to come.

We’ll need to create the ‘next normal’ that‘s filled with hope even in the midst of the isolation of a pandemic. We’ll need to create a ‘next normal’ in which we can experience peace or joy even when it feels a lot like we’re losing more than we’re gaining on just about every level. We’ll need to create a ‘next normal’ even while we’re questioning if it’s possible to know the depth and power of love when we can’t be with those we love.

Moving from the normal we knew toward the normal we’ll know provides opportunities to reframe everything. In these days of Advent we are clinging to the Good News that in midst of all that we may not know, there is one thing that we absolutely do know: that the coming birth of the baby, Jesus, the Savior changed everything two-thousand years ago. And that birth is still changing everything right now. The old normal, the one that we had gotten so used to experiencing on a daily basis is long gone.

The ‘next normal’ is about to be birthed.


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