The Rev. Charles Smith
Welcome to 2020! Margaritaville
Imagine taking everything and everyone you love and enjoy and throwing it all into a blender and pressing the pulse button over and over again. Just as things begin to get settled down again someone presses the pulse button again and again and again.
Welcome to 2020.
This constant pulsing of the blender with everything and everyone you love is what this whole year has felt like. It seems like just as soon as things begin to settle down surprise someone has pressed the pulse button again. New science is out—don’t wear masks. Nope put them back on. It is safe to go out some and do things in small groups—scratch that the numbers are literally exploding again time to hunker back down.
There is the change to the way work works, and loads of people without work. There is the change to the way the economy works. The change to the way the church works. The change to the way going to the doctor works; who would've thought that could be done via video call?
Heck, we have even had to change the way friendship and family get togethers work.
Well I for one don't like all this change?
I miss seeing people's faces and am not particularly enamoured with my mask. I miss going to the grocery store without feeling a bit skeptical of everyone else in the shop. I miss occasionally going to restaurants and eating inside. I miss meeting up with family or friends. More than anything I miss the way the world just felt and fit just right like a well worn pair of jeans.
But maybe the world not feeling and fitting just right is the beginning of the Good News of Jesus just as it was all those years ago.
What if 2020 is the voice crying out in the wilderness urging us to each repent and return to the Lord? The disruption to normal living and the way we do things is needed to force the issue of change, which I don’t think any of us like all that much. The biblical word for this change is metanoia and. It means getting all shaken up and returning to the Lord Jesus.
The thing about change is it's hard and no one enjoys it that much. It's uncomfortable. It's disquieting It requires you to break out of what has become a comfortable routine that feels and fits just right like a well worn pair of jeans. This breaking out of routine and comfort is a necessary part of our metanoia.
I don't particularly enjoy the whole change port of metanoia probably for the same reasons many of you don't. But what if the difficulty, discomfort, and displacement of doses is the beginning of the Good News of the new things that Jesus is doing right now and trying us to be a part of?
I don't know what 2021 will bring for our congregation, or our nation, or our world but I do know that in the midst of the past year we are experiencing the in-breaking of God's Kingdom as we wait for the return of Jesus. I do know that our normal comfortable lives have been upset and that if this forces the issue of change so that we become a healthier, happier, and holier people it will indeed be good news. I do know that God has shaken us all up and 2020 is the voice of one crying in the wilderness. telling us that it is time for metanoia.
I don't know what the New year will bring but we are each being invited into a season of Holy change. May we be ready to receive Jesus in this new way.