In some cultures, people aren't offended by ritualistic sacrifice. No one is mortified that another person is killed as a part of a religious ceremony. But, why? Because it’s normal. In the 11th century, it wasn't odd that people didn't use forks. It was considered blasphemous. In the middle ages, nobody was upset that doctors didn't wash their hands or sterilize their surgical instruments. In fact, a surgeon could be fined or jailed for doing so. In the 1600s, in Europe, no one found it odd or upsetting that over half of all women sent their babies away at birth to be nursed by other women. Even higher class wet nurses sent their babies away to be nursed by poorer wet nurses. As a consequence, up to 80% of newborn babies died in infancy, most on their way to wet nurses who lived far away. In the 1950s, no one thought anything of a woman smoking and drinking alcohol during her pregnancy.
But, why? Because it was normal. We adapt to and accept anything that we are regularly exposed to. This is especially true when we are children. Whatever we experience as common in our homes becomes normal. Normal is whatever is usual, typical, and expected. But, what if what's normal hurts, injures, and kills us?
Normal is no measure of what is good, healthy, or god-pleasing. Normal is simply whatever we've adapted to and accepted because we are regularly exposed to it.
What's not normal is God's Word in our homes. Jesus' gifts of salvation aren't something we typically discuss at work or school. The weight of Jesus' cross is often an unexpected, unwanted burden in our relationships. We don't consider these things to be normal because God's Word, His gifts of salvation, and the reality of Christian life is not usually something we're exposed to in our daily lives.
But, if what's normal for most people is abnormal for the Church why do we work so hard to conform to what is so obviously godless? Why put blinders on when Jesus has shown us the truth? Why compromise in matters of faith with those whose normal life is already opposed to Christ and the Gospel?
Everything normal for the Church of Christ is abnormal for those who reject Jesus as Savior. We worship a God who creates new life, who is good, who gives health and well-being to His people, and who gives His blessing, declaring, "I am pleased with you."
He is our Giver God. Our God and Savior Jesus comes to serve, not to seize power. He goes before, beside, and behind us the whole way, never abandoning or forsaking us. He never goes back on His promises to protect and defend us from what is evil, unhealthy, and godless.
Jesus' promise to be our Savior holds true despite what the world considers normal. He is the Way, the Way of the Cross, the Way into the kingdom. He is the Truth, the Truth about God, and ourselves. He is our Life, and apart from Him, we are dead men walking. There is nobody and nothing apart from Jesus that can give any of this to us so we embrace being abnormally normal in Christ.
We are abnormally normal in Christ Jesus. And yes, what people did to Christ they're going to do to us Christians, just as Jesus promised. But they can only do what comes normally. That's the way it's been for thousands of years. What's evil, and unhealthy, and godless has always been normal for those who reject our Savior. That's why normalcy will doom and damn them.
But, for Jesus, He will do, for us, what is typical and expected of Him: He will bless us and keep us. He will be gracious to us. He will favor us and give us peace both today and always, even into eternity.