We Need A New Normal
If you're like me, you were shocked and saddened and, unfortunately, not totally surprised by the violence and hatred on display at the US Capitol in Washington, DC this past Wednesday.
We need a new normal because the old normal was on full display on Wednesday and we can't keep that up (and it's been going on in some form or fashion since way back!)
I am convinced now, more than ever, that the kind of spiritual movement Common Table Decatur has been called to be is exactly what our world, nation, and community needs!
A group of Common Table leaders wrote this a few months back and I think it fits our cultural moment perfectly:
In a society fractured by inequity, suffering, and intolerance we all face a choice: to live for our own good or for the common good.
If we don’t choose the common good we will not only relive the sins of our past but will be forced into a darker future of isolation, self-centeredness, and ultra-nationalism. Even the church has been part of the problem: we’ve worshipped our unquestioned traditions instead of embodying the radical love of Jesus.
Common Table Decatur is creating a different kind of spiritual movement; one that tries to live and love like Jesus! We are on a mission to gather people in grace-filled communities to fight for justice and healing as we embrace without reservations, serve alongside our neighbors, and bet on hope.
Imagine what could happen if an inclusive community of neighbors chose the common good: providing a foundation for action we can begin to mend divisions, heal suffering, and eliminate inequities all around us.
Working for the common good will heal our society and our soul.
Working for the common good is a Biblical idea. The Old Testament includes legal provisions to support widows and orphans and foreigners and prophetic voices calling out injustice and greed. The New Testament centers around Jesus' call and the early church's witness of forming a new community founded on love.
I was watching some of the senator's remarks on Wednesday night after congress had reconvened and I was encouraged by the words of Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska. You can listen to the last minute of his speech here but the most important lines were these:
"You can't do big things together as Americans if you think other Americans are the enemy...don't let the screamers who monetize hate have the final word...instead...love your neighbor." - Sen. Ben Sasse
Working and serving together, fighting for justice, making room for all people around the table, and loving our neighbors in the way of Jesus...these are the things that will help us move forward...toward a new normal!
This Sunday we will continue our series, New Year, New Normal, and explore one part of the solution to the toxic old normal that has been on full display in our world today. You can catch up on previous messages in this series here.