There is an old joke that goes something like this. “How many people does it take to change a light bulb in a church?” The response is, “Change? In a church?” It seems that we really don’t like change in a church. We are comfortable with the order of worship, the litany, the Bible translation… it’s called ‘tradition.’ Tradition is good, but sometimes an ‘enhanced’ worship is good, too.
There is another old saying that goes, “The only thing that doesn’t change… is that things change.” And that is true. It seems things are always changing.
One more. In our church’s bathrooms, we have put a message on the wall. It reads, “changing table available downstairs in nursery” to which is added, paraphrased, “Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all sleep,* but we will all be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:51)
As we struggle through the last few days of a long winter we look forward to the change of seasons. We yearn for sunshine, fields dry enough to plant, safety for livestock, green grass, flowers, gardens, etc. We have experienced the changes of winter, from sun to sleet to sun to blizzard to melting and mud to more snow and ice.
We find changes occurring in many areas of our lives including weather, health, finances, family, friends, laws, political outlook, education, the list goes on and on
In the midst of all that changes we look for some things that remain the same, some sense of stability. Where do we look? Well, obviously, church. And we look there not only because of tradition. We look there because we believe first of all, that God doesn’t change. Numbers 23:19 reads, “God is not a human being, that he should lie, or a mortal, that he should change his mind. Has he promised, and will he not do it? Has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (NRSV) God doesn’t change. God is good to us and through God’s word and God’s son we find God striving to lead us to what I call abundant, victorious life.
In Hebrews 13:8 we are told, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” NRSV
Through God’s word we find that stability we look for in the presence of God, God’s son Jesus Christ, and God’s Holy Spirit.
But in reality, perhaps there is some things that need to change. Perhaps we need to change. Perhaps there is one (or more) areas of our lives that are not really what we want them to be. (Remember that the only time we can walk on water is in January and February… meaning that no one is perfect… save Jesus.) Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not be conformed to this world,* but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.”NRSV+
May God truly guide us to be the people we want and need to be.*
For the complete article see the 04-17-2013 issue.
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