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Viewpoint from Rev Derrick Hill 24/07/2020 

DERRICK HILL 09-2018Rev Derrick Hill
Retired Baptist Minister

The New Normal?
Well, the past few months have certainly been different! Some have been shielding; others have taken furlough, either by choice or by force of circumstances; many have taken the opportunity to enjoy a slower pace of life, more in tune with nature; but many more have been busier than ever, such as those working in care environments or those involved in manufacturing of essential products, like a neighbour of mine whose company manufactures those plastic bottles in high demand for hand sanitiser!
dove leftMore recently thoughts have turned from survival mode to questions about the “new normal”. What opportunities or threats does the gradual relaxation of lockdown bring? Have we made adequate preparations for these changes? Will holidaymakers return to our town this summer and spend their money that is so important to our area’s traditional economy? What might church services look like with social distancing but with sung worship, that natural overflow of our love for God, banned
Tearfund, a Christian International Relief Agency, has been encouraging people to ask themselves how they might like the world to be different post-lockdown – and what steps we might take now, whether as individuals, communities or nations, to secure those improvements. Answers on a postcard …
Dove rightBut anticipating the “new normal” should be natural to people of faith! We are constantly aware of ways in which the world, as we have known it, falls well short of the standards recommended by the Great Creator – standards that are essential if we are to fully enjoy the blessings that God desires to pour out upon us. And we look forward to a new perfection, known as heaven, when there will be “no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4). In that place, everyone will walk with and talk face to face with God (see Genesis 3:8), being at peace with one another. What a joy!
And, in anticipation of that “new normal”, we are called to prepare ourselves and others for its arrival by living out lives, with the Spirit’s help, that reflect God’s desirable qualities of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, against which there is no law” (Galatians 5:23). As we emerge from the isolation of lockdown may such qualities be the foundation of all our relationships with one another

also published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury

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