Dec 03, 2021 |
Hoping for Normal| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Hoping for Normal
"Perhaps the sadness and yearning I hear articulated the most by others in my life and in my job is how badly we wish things could get back to normal. But what are we really asking for? I wonder. I think I know some piece of this: I think, in the case of the church, people can’t wait until we can safely take off our masks, hug one another, sing loudly and just be together in ways that have made sense to us for most of our lives. I will not criticize that or disagree with it. I want that too. But I don’t think we’re actually saying we want normal. We’re scratching at the surface of something deeper.
In the church we call this season Advent. It is a time of preparation for Christmas. Jesus’ birth. We acknowledge our desire for the deliverance that is found in the coming of Jesus. Are we really just hoping Jesus will come back and restore normality? Is that our goal? Do we think salvation looks like getting back to the way things were?
I’m going to go out on a limb here. The things I listed above – the connectedness, the physical closeness, the singing and hand-holding and hugging and gathering in shared love and respect – I don’t think these things were ever normal. These were and are the transcendent things. We don’t miss normal. We miss the things that help us transcend beyond the normal and see the true presence of divine Love active in our midst."