Before today's "new normal" was cool, a musical "new wave" was creating a different kind of "new normal" in the nation. As a product of the 1980s and 90s, I recall the new wave very well. However, remembering and appreciating aren't the same things. During the 80s and 90s, a new form of sub-genre music hit the cultural landscape like wildfire. This new wave was meant to be a mixture of rock and roll and pop music, which ironically didn't aid the quality of rock and roll or pop music. It was a terrible infection that has plagued me for most of my life, and I've been unable to find a vaccine for it anywhere.
If the media is to be believed, we will soon face a new wave of COVID-19. This threat comes after the first wave, where people found themselves sheltered in place and churches sheltered as "non-essential." Those in positions of decree disregarded our sacramental understanding of the church and our need to gather, eat, and drink Christ. I also didn't expect them to regard it very highly. On the other hand, I did expect them to uphold the First Amendment. They didn't and benched our pastors.
According to our United States Caesars, this virus will quickly bring a second coming of disastrous sickness. As a result, many people look to the artists formerly known as pastors for what to do next and what our churches will do if this new wave on COVID creeps up on the horizon. Why? Because churches and pastors were told that if they just shut their doors for the shelter in place time period, then they would be all set to worship in six weeks. It's been nearly six months, and people are sick of not receiving Jesus.
It's time to obey God rather than man and lift high the Christ as Moses did in the barren wilderness after the plague of burning snakes cut through the Israelites. It's time to open up and for pastors to be discerning and cautious with their people. It’s time to tell them of the risks if there are any, and then go about being a pastor to their people. Give them Jesus and let Him be the final curate and physician of body and soul.
The new wave music virus has never left us, and we are still weakened by its effects. There are still some unfortunate souls popping in tapes of Duran Duran, The Cure, and Culture Club. As frightening as that is, every once in awhile, you find a Talking Heads and bring something good out of a terrible musical plague. As a church body, may we find fidelity amid the COVID pandemic and put God before man and Caesar. It is my hope during this time of sickness that our church will not remain silent anymore, but will stand on the chief cornerstone and say, "Here I stand. I can do no other. So help me, God."
The Rev. Gaven Mize is pastor of Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church, Hickory, N.C.
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“God is the creator and author of life; it is He who gives value to life. Our world needs that absolute truth. As LCMS Lutherans, we have a clear confession … to share with our world. … Our witness is stronger when we stand together, professing life and confessing Christ.” – Deaconess Tiffany Manor, director, LCMS Life Ministry
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