Listen to: The Change" by Steven Curtis Chapman,
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, s/he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come" (2 Corinth. 5:17)
What did the Dalai Lama say to the hot dog vendor?
Make me one with everything.
The hot dog vendor said "that will be $2.50" and the Dalai Lama handed him a five.
And waited. The Dalia Lama said "Hey where's my change?"
The hot dog vendor said "ah, change must come from within....!ust come from within"
The Christian life is a life of transformation and change. Change is written on each page of the bible. It is written in the fabric of our bodies: While we are sitting here we are changing. During this message about ½ million cells in our body are going to die and be replaced with a half a million new cells. Our skin replaces itself every month. Change is natural. Our families change. our societies change. Our churches change. Everyone changes. We are not alone.
Ideally as we change, our emotional and spiritual responses begin to change too. We learn to know God is in charge. We learn to trust. We respond to change in more healthy ways. We learn to handle the sadness and fear, and through it, with God's help, learn to hope and embrace a new future.
Churches everywhere are in times of accelerated change, accelerated by this time of COVID. So we're going to spend some time talking about change; understanding and recognizing it, responding in healthy ways to it, supporting each other and growing in faith together. So think about your changes around you, in you, and in the church. Begin to name them, make a list. Think and pray about how change is affecting you. What's troubling you? What gives you hope? Knowing that our Eternal God, Changeless, is in the midst of the changes, seeks to guide us "reformed, and always reforming" is a comfort.
For now it is good for us to remember the prayer of change from the great Reformer, Martin Luther:
"This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.”
PRAY: "Show us to embrace and manage the changes of life with grace, courage and trust in you. Help us be sensitive and caring to others in the midst of their changes."