Editors’ note: 

This episode of Gospelbound is sponsored by The Good Book Company, publisher of The Garden, the Curtain and The Cross by Carl Laferton. This storybook takes children aged 3 to 6 on a journey from the Garden of Eden to God’s perfect new creation, teaching why Jesus died and rose again and why that’s the best news ever. More information at thegoodbook.com.

“We’re not going back to normal.”

So wrote Andy Crouch and two of his Praxis colleagues on March 20, 2020, just one week after the national COVID-19 shutdown began in the United States. No essay was more widely circulated among my networks as we all grappled with the effects of this unprecedented pandemic. Crouch and his team warned us this would not be a blizzard that rages for a few weeks or a winter that lasts a few months, but an “ice age” of 12 to 18 months that would change our way of life for good.

They were right.

A week earlier than his Praxis article, on March 12, Crouch wrote “Love in the Time of Coronavirus,” a guide for Christian leaders. Much of his practical advice, seemingly drastic in the moment, has become commonplace. I’m still captivated by his hopeful vision for turning to Christ: “We need to pray for genuine spiritual authority, rooted in the love that casts out fear, to guard and govern our lives as we lead, and trust that God will make up what is lacking in our own frail hearts, minds, and bodies.” He also offered consolation: “When we realize that Jesus is present today and will be present tomorrow, we can be set free from worry.”

Nearly one year later after the initial shutdown, more than 500,000 have died. Some predicted even higher numbers, though a year ago probably most of us would’ve been shocked by the toll. Yet with effective vaccines increasingly available, we can perhaps begin to glimpse the end. But when we reach the end, what will we find? Who will we be?

Andy joined me on Gospelbound to lament the last year, assess our levels of social trust inside and outside the church, and look forward to God’s purposes in the next year and beyond.

“K-Shaped Recovery” referenced in this episode:

K-Shaped Recovery Graph
Original Image by Sabrina Jiang © Investopedia 2020