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What’s the problem with a new normal?

We hear the phrase often, “A New Normal.” In our papers, on the radio, on the TV and from the lips of those we love and trust. Our world today doesn’t set a very good picture of what that phrase means unless it is used with their idea in mind.

Of course, how you view the statement means quite a bit. Travel with me, if you will, to the book of Joshua, Chapters 1-3. Moses, the great leader of the people leaving the Promised Land, wandered 40 years in the wilderness, let them know the will of God and gave them the 10 Commandments, has died. Joshua is now the leader chosen by God.

The nation has been told to camp by the Jordan River. The problem is it’s at flood stage and in three days they will cross. Why is it so important to cross the flooded river? Why not wait for better weather, what’s the big deal? On the other side of the flooded river is “A New Normal.” Keep in mind these wilderness wanderers have never owned any land, and never had a place to call home, permanently. Their new normal is what God had promised 40 years ago to Moses. Hebrews 3:12 says the people had an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.

Now this generation of people has the opportunity to possess the promise of God. All they have to do is to possess it. It’s there just waiting for them to walk in and own it but the flooded Jordan river is in their way. Do you think there were fear, trepidation, complaining, doubts and rumors? I’m sure there were, plus it was something new, i.e. a new normal. However, keep in mind what didn’t change with the new normal: Their belief and obedience to God. Their allegiance to Joshua never wavered throughout all this period.

As the movement to cross began, I imagine eyes were wide open, hearts are pounding and minds were racing. Because of their obedience, God continued to bless with the flood waters backing up, and19 miles of dry ground revealed itself when the priest’s feet touched the water. Everyone, including everyone, crossed over on dry ground to possess the new land and begin living “A New Normal.”

Remember, while they served the lord they were blessed and when they didn’t there were consequences. Friends, I don’t know what the future normal will be but I do know this — “Be faithful unto death and I will give to you a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10.) “Remember the Israelites wholly followed the word of Joshua so in like manner we are to wholly follow the words of Jesus. “If you love me, keep my commandment” (John 14:15.) For their salvation in the wilderness they looked to the river, but for us today we look to the cross. Being a Christian is our new normal: “If any man be in Christ he is a new creation …” (II Corinthians 5:17.) Whatever the world defines as the new normal it doesn’t compare to our life in Christ. Remain steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. (Hebrews 15:58.

So, what’s the problem with a new normal? Nothing, along as our lord is honored faithfully.

(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association.)

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