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We Can't Go Back to Normal

During this time of crisis (COVID-19, or whatever may be happening when you're reading this), one thing is certain: normal is definitely out of the equation. We can't see our friends and coworkers as we used to, shopping, and day to day activities are different than they used to be, even how we interact with one another at home has changed, because we're forced to be together as families more often. Seniors won't be walking, and pre-k, kindergarten, and 5th/6th and 8th grade promotions, are out awards ceremonies, sports, and so many other things are postponed indefinitely for students (and adults, I should say). I think the question is, during this, or any other time of crisis: when it's all over, do we go back to normal? This idea of going back to normal isn't new. On this day in Holy Week, Christ lay entombed, in a tomb borrowed, secretly prepared by Joseph of Aremetha and Nicodemus the Pharisee. Jesus' 11 remaining Apostles were in Hiding, Judas was dead, and Christ was at rest from His great labor (though what He was doing is a matter of debate, at least to those who interpret certain scriptures differently). I wonder if Jesus' disciples were thinking: "When the dust settled from this Crisis, what's going to happen? What do we do now?" We know, this side of the tomb, that it did not remain empty, that during that cold, quiet Sunday Morning the Guards would see angels and become as dead men, and the stone over the mouth of the tomb would be rolled away, and of His own volition, Jesus would walk out of that tomb. But we are all like those apostles and scattered disciples, cowering in hiding, wondering what to do when our own crisis is over. When Jesus walked out of that tomb the next day, NOTHING would ever be the same. Normal would be a thing of the past, and men and women who ran away would willingly give up their lives for the Risen savior who gave up His life for them. The fact is, times of Crisis remind us that we can never go back to normal. Church, get in to your word, daily. Get in to the habit of meeting with God daily, and when the gates are lifted, and we're free to roam once more, don't go back to Normal. Jesus did not die so we could do that, but that we could have LIFE and have it to the full. There's no going back, no that the Tomb is Empty. John 10:1-21 English Standard Version

I Am the Good Shepherd 10 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. 7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” 19 There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

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