Change. Man people hate that word. It feels so...changey. So yes, that's not a word. But what else do you call it? An affront? Control? Or lack thereof? I don't know, but lots of people don't like it. We are somewhat pharisaical that way I suppose. Those guys didn't much like change either. "You have heard it said...but I tell you." Woah! What? Jesus just overturned a couple thousand years of "thou shalts" on their ears! Change never comes easy, does it?
I'll never forget when we moved to Springfield, it was painfully obvious that it was time for a new mini-van. The old one was pushing 280,000 miles and was having transmission issues, so we bought a new/used one. My oldest daughter was actually mad at us. She loved the comfort and familiarity of that 2005 Caravan. They had been through a lot together. It had seen the birth of all of her siblings, road trips to Texas, Michigan, STL and many other places. No telling how many chicken nuggets she consumed in that van! She had watched countless hours of movies and jammed to music in that car. But it was getting bad. Carpet was stained everywhere. DVD player was busted. Someone, who shall remain nameless, had backed it into several items along the way revealing the aging scars of scratches, dents and the occasional flat tires that come with vehicular ownership.
But the new car? Bigger DVD player. Bluetooth. USB chargers for devices. Leather interior. Automatic doors. Stow-and-go seats. Metallic Black with chrome accents. It is sweet! And she hated it.
Second has been through its fair share of changes recently. 2018 was challenging. Senior Pastor retires. Teaching Pastor feels a call to plant a new church. Contemporary Worship Leader gets a new job in Washington State and follows the Lords call. We have endured loss and it has not been easy. Through all the difficulty and meetings, questions, more meetings, and more questions, I have noticed a few things. First: The Lord is on the move. I mean, He always has been, but it takes us a little while to figure it out. There is a stirring among God's people at Second. There is a calmness and sense of togetherness. Secondly, people are praying. Not some empty promise, habitual, duty-filled praying, but an earnest seeking of the presence of God and a genuine desire for His purpose and plans to be accomplished at our church. And finally third, joy is filling the halls and aisles of our building. And that is contagious!
While some of us don't like change, we have a big one coming up. Sometime soon we will welcome a new Senior Pastor. He will be different. He will lead differently. He will teach differently. He will love differently. My prayer is that when different shows up, my heart will be ready for it. Will yours?
My oldest has embraced the new car, it took a while, but now she loves it. Let's covenant together to not resist the new, but embrace it. It may take longer for some, and that's okay. Let's ask the Lord to give us wisdom, after all, he gives it generously. We will get through this change together...with God and one another. Remember, even in the midst of change, He doesn't. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." James 1:17 ESV
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