September 13, 2020: Adjusting to a New Normal

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost  

How are things in the future? By the quirks of preparation and publication, we write bulletin backs months in advance. Normally it’s easy enough to stick to a brief commentary on the scripture, and note some applicable thoughts from life at large.

I’m not sure how things are looking on September 13, but on May 13, “normally” doesn’t seem as if it will apply for some time.

That’s also what the disciples were looking at in this passage. Not so much thinking about what situation people and congregations might be in six months out, but adjusting to a new normal, thanks to Jesus’ presence in their lives. Everything is different from how things were just a little while ago, before Jesus strolled along the shore of the Sea of Galilee and said, “From now on . . .”

When Peter comes to Jesus with his questions about how things would be now . . . okay, about this forgiveness thing . . . Jesus gives him the data, and then provides a narrative parable to illustrate how the numbers applied. You will draw on your faith, and you will act beyond what you think you have capacity for. You think you’re done forgiving, and you can just lose it and give in to your feelings, but with my strength you can keep going.

So how are things in September? I invite you to take stock, ponder what you have been through, find the hope and joy you can, and draw on Jesus through the Holy Spirit to say okay, what’s next? Oh, if things have changed fantastically for the better, think back six months and give a little extra praise.

Ian Edwards, pastor, Good News Moravian Church

Sherwood Park, Alberta