You hear a lot these days about a new normal. We know a lot of things have changed, some of the old normal are gone, and a new normal is being formed.
A few years ago I listened to a preacher list the things that had gone wrong in the world. It was a pretty long list. Violence, abuse, racism, poverty, hunger, turning our backs on others, blaming, gossip, hatred. You can probably add to the list. He said these things had begun to feel normal. He ended his sermon by saying it is time to create a new normal.
I have thought a lot about what he said. What do we accept as normal? And what sort of normal do we want?
It is a delicious treat to dream about the normal we want. Here’s just some of my list of what I hope will be normal:
- Every child lives with hope.
- Every child gets three hugs a day. (Parents, My advice: let every disagreement you have with your child/teen end with a hug. Especially teens. They may act all grown up, beyond hugs, but they need them more than ever. Tell a child/teen what they are doing right five times as often as you tell them what they are doing wrong. It’s a tough world out there. Fill them with hope.)
- Hunger is ended. It is normal for everyone to have good food and clean water in front of them when they sit down to eat.
- That every person discovers the joy of serving others. Serving is the BIG normal.
As I started to make my list, it became clear to me that the reason God came to us in Christ is to bring about a new normal. This Christ Child will grow up to tell us that it is normal to love your neighbor. It is normal to love your enemy and turn the other cheek. It is normal to feed the hungry, and give water to the thirsty, and visit the imprisoned, and clothe the naked. (Matthew 25). It is normal to live in peace with others without fear. It is normal to trust God
This Christmas I am hoping for more of Christ’s new normal.
One last thing: what is normal at your house? Is it normal to tell others how much you appreciate them? Is it normal to pray for one another? Is it normal to encourage? Are there some unhealthy normal things that need to stop?
Sweet Jesus. Bring us your new normal!
Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines Iowa 50265
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And join us for worship on-line at 9:30 on Sunday mornings and posted all week long.
This week at WDMUMC
Our Christmas Study begins tonight via zoom! Pastor Trevor will be leading an Advent study based on Adam Hamilton’s book Incarnation. The study begins tonight at 7:30. If you would like to take part or if you would like a copy of the book, contact Pastor Trevor, or reply to this email. A great way to open your heart to receive the gift of Christmas!
Greens for Your Home! On Saturday the United Methodist Women will be selling greens for Christmas decorating from 10-12 in our parking lot.
Luminaries! If you have ordered luminaries you can also pick them up on Saturday morning between 10 and 12!
Christmas is on the way! Get ready!