Romans 12:1-2, 6-8, 9-10, 11-13

Shelley du Plessis encourages us to be the voice of reason and peace during the disruption of COVID 19

Shelley du Plessis
Shelley du Plessis

I think Patsy Clairmont's book title, Normal is just a setting on your dryer, is rather fitting as we engage with the hastily changing reality and norms of Covid 19 and what normal will be post-Covid 19. The only normal at the moment, that we can guarantee, is that button on our dryer.

If something conforms to a general pattern, standard or average, we describe it as normal, but, of course, that standard can change over time. What's normal today may be "abnormal" in the future.

As with any unexpected disruption, our comfortable normal evaporates with the sunrise of change. What is it that society needs now in the heat of the disrupted new day? How do we cope and navigate our way? What we need is people of faith, who know and love Jesus, to take the lead in affecting and securing societal disruption. Right now, in the confusion of voices, communication overload, fake news, fear-mongering and heartbreak, society needs the body of Christ to rise up and be the voice of reason and peace.

In the face of the Covid 19 disruption, what we require is:

1) Stable people; people of hope, who are firmly established in Christ and will not be crushed by change.

Romans 12:1-2 - So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life-and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. (MSG)

2) Prepared people; those who have an internal spiritual fortitude that will encourage others, those who are emotionally, spiritually and psychologically ready to deal with the unfamiliar.

Verse 2 - You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognise what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

3) Alert and responsive people, who are quick to notice, to be sensitive to and invested in the needs of others.

Verse 6-8 - If you preach, just preach God's Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don't take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don't get bossy; if you're put in charge, don't manipulate; if you're called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don't let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.

4) Agile people, those who are not frozen in fear and woefulness but have who are adaptable, adept and able to confront the discomfort of change.

Verse 9-10 - Love from the centre of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

Verse 11-13 - Don't burn out; keep yourselves fuelled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

In the nation where I live, we need as many hope fuelled and peace-filled, daring God mavericks, who operate in the opposite spirit to fear and hopelessness, to usher in reformation to a divided society. May you see the reformative Spirit of Jesus re-shape your life, house, town and country!

God Bless you in this evolving new normal. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.