It seems to me that new patterns are now falling into place. For us as a church, we have the systems set up to make things happen in the way that we want. The problem is that we recognise that however successful we are at this temporary existence we will need to gather strength to start again as restrictions are eased. We are busy getting on with what we are doing now and getting more used to being apart. Yet the real challenge still lies ahead as we finally fashion our new future.
The initial novelty of the crisis has long since passed. We thought that it might be a month at the most that we would be cooped up but this is now the day on which we mark ten weeks of church being closed. At first we hoped we might be able to meet in some way for Easter. Now we look forward to the next big festival of our year, that of Pentecost, in lockdown.
We have started new things and reached new people. There has been an increase in social get togethers in our church community, even if they are over the internet. We have been so encouraged by new people offering their thoughts on Bible passages each morning that we stream out across social media. The elderly and vulnerable have been supported with lots of good will. People are being nicer to one another and saying hello more, while also turning away just in case you share any microscopic virus laden droplets.
But we know that this is not how we are meant to live. We have to get back to somewhere more like what life should be. The schools are grappling with this as they prepare for pupils to return in a limited way. The shops are raring to go as soon as they get the permission they need.
We have all changed in the way that we act and interact. There will be less chance of the dreaded spread across communities because we've all been trained to behave differently.
Last week there was a post that said "Let's not go back to the old ways of doing things because they had normalised greed, iniquity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction..." This is a chance for a whole new way of doing life. A big part of that should be seeing that we are not ultimately in control of our lives. We never have been. There are always seismic shifts that knock us off balance. Perhaps we should search for the ancient ways as the Bible reminds us. Ways that helped humanity form decent civilisations across the millennia. Ways that had room for God, for worship and prayer. Let's press the reset button and start again to live in a way that would make God proud.