This Too Shall Pass
Maybe we don’t get to go back to how everything used to be.
I sit back and think about the most difficult periods of my life. And I remember that during these difficult times, I came to the realization that things are different now. My life is not the same as yesterday and there is no going back.
In John 21, Jesus has already died and rose again and visited the disciples. After seeing Jesus, you would think they would be out in the world doing miracles and starting churches. But in the story where do we find them?
Back on the boat. Fishing. Back to the way things used to be.
I’m not saying that fishing is bad. I have been out on the water and caught a fish or two in my day. But what I am getting at is when Jesus first called the first disciples, they were fishing. Jesus saw them and told them they had a new mission. But on this mission, Jesus died and where did the disciples go?
Back to the boat. Back to the way things used to be.
And today, the United States is really going through it. To date, around 400,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the states.
Maybe you knew some of those people.
Now I know that there are people who will say that number is exaggerated and a lot of those people who died actually died from another illness. And I hear you. Even if we take away 100,000 of those deaths, that is 300,000 and that is a lot of people.
And here we are in 2021. Unemployment has risen. Small businesses are struggling. Parents are trying to figure out childcare and schooling. I can’t even imagine how all the teachers are handling everything.
So do we really get to go back to how things used to be no.
We are Christians. That is not how we roll.
The first thing we do is mourn. We mourn the loss of all the lives in the country and the world. We show those lost the respect they deserve by grieving for them and celebrating their lives. We share stories. We cry. We laugh. We do the traditions in our cultures. We sit in it for a bit.
And then we as a community come to the realization that things are different now. In the Bible story, Jesus came to the disciples, he would not let them go back to the way things were. But he led them down a different path. A path that did not let them forget about what happened in the past. But a path that leads to new life. And we know that the disciples went on to change the world in ways that are still impactful today.
And as Christians, we do not go back. We come together and grieve and then we work together to plan a new tomorrow. One where we help the community to heal. Where people will have jobs. Where parents have childcare. People have food.
It may feel like we are on a boat and the boat is sinking. But Jesus comes to us on the boat and takes us into a new tomorrow.
So friends, do not feel like you have to remain stagnant. Like you have to succumb to the pressure of holding it all together. God has called and equipped you. Your gifts and voices are needed to lift the community up.
Don’t act like you have nothing to offer.
In the midst of all the chaos, new life is forming. We will move forward together.
We will heal together.