Something Old, Something New - by Curt Malizzi

One the many popular wedding traditions celebrated around the world in different ways is the concept of having or wearing something old and something new on your wedding day as a sign of a good blessing. Wedding traditions are great. They often bring great joy and nostalgia of previous weddings in the family. This week, this thought came to me as we are all preparing to open our church buildings relatively soon. We are reopening our buildings because the real Church (the Believers and Followers of Jesus Christ) never closes.

It has been said that we will not be returning to an (old) normal but to a new normal. This applies to life and the operation of the Church in America. This sounds sad at first, but perhaps the Lord Jesus is stirring his church to get out of the last 100-year-old nest as a mother bird does with the baby birds when it is time to fly.  We have all had our routines with Sunday service, and midweek service, and bible studies, etc. Now we need to deal with social distancing, masks, no hugging as is common in many churches, and no handshaking for the time being. We have had to quickly learn live-streaming, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and other future formats to communicate. This is all part of something new. All these new things also change our schedule and routine.

The “something old” is that people are still people and need human interaction. We all need friends, encouragement, conversations, joy, and one on one comfort during times of trial and grief. This will never change. Our fellowship, worship, prayer, healing, and the sharing of the Word of God may take place in a new format, but the needs of the people and the message of the Gospel never changes.  

So, we see a merging of the old and the new into a new normal. For pastors, this brings added changes on top of the heavy loads they are already carrying. This load is seldom known by their church family. But God knows. He will guide us and give us times of rest and strength during these times of changes. And after all, aren’t we doing it for him?