So, we’ve been in “stay at home” mode for a few weeks, now.  Some of us are still getting out and about, performing essential duties.  But there’s no denying that our regular patterns have been suspended.  Even if we haven’t needed to adapt that much personally, we’re still interacting in a world that has changed profoundly over the last few months.  We’re all trying to get used to a “new normal” when “normal” changes every few days.  One thing that’s becoming clear is that when this virus finally runs its course, and we come out from under our rocks, we’re going to enter a different world than the one we inhabited at the end of last year.  2020 is going to change things.

The past couple weeks have offered us a lot to think about in terms of what it means to be Christians in a turbulent world.  Those who study such things talk about continuous change and discontinuous change—the former being situations that shift in predictable ways, the latter defined by its essential unpredictability.  Sociologists have identified the time we live in as one distinguished by discontinuous change, and the recent societal response to the coronavirus is textbook discontinuous.  The phrase “unprecedented” is getting a little shopworn with overuse.  But the reality is that we’re in uncharted waters, and the shore is far from sight.