Summary: Change a sermon for people in recovery. There is a change that is occurring in the Residential Bridge Programmes accommodation hostel. An opportunity to address how God does not change.

[Change] 1955 and 1974, Recovery.

There are two plaques by the door each has a date on it. I’m guessing that once the upgrades been done there will be another.

If you were born in 1955 which would make you 58 or there about you would have been born the same year Ed Hillary and his team reached the South Pole overland, the first since Scott’s ill-fated expedition in 1912. That year 54% of New Zealanders had access to a refrigerator, and the First Supermarket in the Nation’s History opened in Otahuhu in Auckland, The Black Budget was released and Johnny Devlin, New Zealand’s answer to Elvis Presley had a number one hit with ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’. Brian Barrett Boyes carried out the first open heart surgery in NZ and This Building was opened by The Salvation Army as an Emergency Shelter.

However in 1974 after a refit this building was used for its current role; the same year saw the The Commonwealth Games held at the QE2 park in Christchurch, “Join Together” the Games anthem was a hit, South Canterbury won the Ranfurly Shield, ‘Big Norm’ a song about the then Prime Minister Norman Kirk won the band ‘Ebony’ the New Zealand band of the year award and Oamaru Harbour closed to shipping. New Zealand’s population was 3 milliion and 91 thousand and. A kilo of Clover Honey cost 60 cents and dozen eggs 80 cents. After skinning my knees, I had mastered the two wheeler, a trusty blue and white Raleigh.

Where I’m going with this, is that things have changed rapidly

1) You as a group of people have encountered what I believe to be the most rapid change outside of war zones, in any place in recent time. Some more than others! And I want to ask a question.

The question I’m going to ask and I don’t want an answer for it just now and I will probably see it on your faces anyhow is, “with all this change and changing stuff, how is it going for you?”

Now I’ve left you hanging on that question and related it to change I want to talk about God about relationship with God.

2) So why be in a relationship with God? The answer is, because everything that you encounter in life is changing and I’ve found over my life that it changes at a rapid rate. Everything changes; as individuals and as a group you are here on your course for life change, or as staff here you are helping with the process of change.

So why the relationship with God? Why does this higher power stuff keep cropping up in recovery circles? The thing is that God however does not change, “He is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow”.[Hebrews 13:8].

James, Jesus brother has a bit to say about God and change; the two of them had Mary as their mum and they grew up in the same house. James came to believe Jesus was Lord after Jesus resurrection, up until then Jesus family were a bit concerned that he had over stepped the mark a little and heading off on a strange tangent.

So this brother of Jesus, James comes out with a line that is of importance to Christians, who are struggling with trials and temptations, with change and it is this, “Don’t be deceived dear brothers [and sisters]. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like the shifting shadows (James 1:16-17). So God does not change, everything else changes mountains rise and fall, the price of honey goes through the roof, the key point here is that God never changes.

God is the one thing that will not change, when the going gets tough God will still be true to his promises, he will still be there for you, may be he’s challenging your thinking and helping you with your recovery, when others let you down and when you struggle with life God is still the same.

This building over the next months will undergo some amazing changes, you as clients will do the same, your journey will never be the same, for you will come through the “Bridge Programme” changed thanks to the interactions you have with the staff, one another and your higher power, with God.

The thing is that around you many things will change, God will not, his promises will always be true. You will carry on in your programme living at your temporary residence at Every Street, and what a terrific view you will have.

As you journey on live lives with meaning in this changing world, one day at a time, advance on your journey, hold onto the hope that is an anchor point for your whole being, the hope that keeps you secure as change rages around you. As that change rages around you, every day as the little sign by the front door says; “remember there is nothing today that you and God can’t handle.”


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