Disruption is the forerunner of creation. Whenever God creates something new, he first disrupts something old.
In the very beginning, scripture tells us, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the deep. Then, God disrupted it. God created light, and then boundaries, and then life itself. God disrupted what was so that God could create what is.
The ministry of Jesus was similarly disruptive. A pandemic of sin had plagued the world since Eden, and just when it seemed that the world could bear no more, God intervened. God disrupted the world as his people knew it and created a way forward for them – a way forward for us.
The vision we get of the end times is also a vision of disruption: A New Jerusalem descends from heaven to replace everything we know about the created order. This revelation foretells an end to mourning, crying, and pain; it prophesies death for death itself.
So, if God likes to create new things in the midst of disruption, and if we find ourselves in the midst of a disruption, it only stands to reason that we should be getting ourselves ready for God to create something new.
I suggest we stop using phrases like “getting back to normal,” because they limit our openness to God’s creative potential. There was a lot about “normal” that really wasn’t really very good at all. We would do well not to “get back to normal,” but instead to get on with the new.
Perhaps our patterns can be healthier than normal. Perhaps our relationships can be deeper than normal, and our society more equitable than normal. Perhaps we can value intangible things more highly than normal, and reject injustice more vehemently than normal.
God says through the Prophet Isaiah, “Behold, I am about to do a new thing.” God makes no promise that his people can ever “get back to normal.” No, God only promises that he will lead his people on their adventure through his ever-unfolding creation.