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Summary: Encouragement and optimism for a church congregation facing changes in their Sunday morning worship that includes a "blending" of styles and formats.

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Hebrews 1:8a; 10-13 and Hebrews 13:8

IF THERE IS ONE NEVER-ENDING HUMAN TRUTH THAT STANDS THE TEST OF TIME IT IS THIS: THE ONE THING THAT SEEMS TO NEVER CHANGE IS CHANGE ITSELF.

WE ARE ALWAYS CHANGING. WE ARE ALWAYS FACING CHANGE. OUR WORLD CHANGES. TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCES CHANGES. HEALTH CHANGES. MEDICINE CHANGES. CHURCHES CHANGE. YES, EVEN STYLES OF WORSHIP CHANGE!

CHANGE IS CONSTANT. CHANGE IS UNAVOIDABLE. CHANGE OFFERS GROWTH AND MATURITY. CHANGE WHICH AT FIRST APPEARS MASKED IN UNCERTAINTY REVEALS A BEAUTY WHEN THE DISGUISE IS ALLOWED TO BE LIFTED IN ORDER TO SHOW US THAT THE CHANGE WAS NECESSARY AND WHAT WAS NEEDED ALL ALONG.

FROM THE FIRST FLIGHT AT KITTY HAWK WHERE THE WRIGHT BROTHERS FLEW THEIR AIRCRAFT FOR 12 SECONDS, AT 120 FEET JUST A MERE 20 FEET OFF THE GROUND TO THE AWE-INSPIRING MACH-2 SPEED OF THE LOCKHEED-MARTIN F-22 RAPTOR, WE HAVE WELCOMED CHANGE IN AERONAUTICS.

FROM THE 1908 MODEL-T FORD WITH A TOP SPEED OF 40-45 MILES-PER-HOUR TO THE DODGE VIPER THAT CAN GO FROM 0-60 IN 4.3 SECONDS AT A TOP SPEED OF NEARLY 200 MILES-PER-HOUR, WE’VE ENJOYED THE CHANGES IN AUTOMOTIVES.

WE’VE OPENLY WELCOMED THE CHANGING ADVANCEMENTS OF OTHER TECHNOLOGIES AS WELL: FROM THE PRIMITIVE MANUAL TYPEWRITER OF RIBBONS AND CARBON PAPER TO THE INTRICATE WORLD OF COMPUTERS THAT CONTAIN MEGA-BYTES AND GIGABYTES OF CYBERSPACE, WE’VE ACCEPTED THE CHANGE.

WE HAVE SEEN THE CHANGES OF COMMUNICATION FROM THE GALLIANT HORSES THAT GALLOPED ACROSS THE PONY EXPRESS TO THE “SPLIT-SECOND” DELIVERY OF OUR INTERNET E-MAIL.

WE GLADLY EMBRACE THE ADVANCEMENTS OF TECHNOLOGY AND BUSINESS THAT MAKES OUR LIFE ALMOST EFFORTLESS. WE HAVE DRY CLEANERS TO DO OUR LAUNDRY. WE HAVE CONTRACTED LANDSCAPERS TO MOW OUR LAWN, WE HAVE RESTAURANTS THAT HAVE 24-HOUR MENUS TO PROVIDE ALL OUR DAILY MEALS. WE HAVE DAY-CARE CENTERS TO WATCH OUR CHILDREN. WE HAVE “WEB-MD” TO DIAGNOSE OUR SYMPTOMS AND “WIKIPEDIA” TO EXPLAIN THINGS FOR US WHEN WE DON’T UNDERSTAND. YET, IN ALL OF THE ACCEPTED FORMS OF CHANGE AND ADVANCEMENT, THERE IS STILL ONE THING THAT HAS BEEN LEFT OUT WHEN IT COMES TO ITS HISTORICAL JOURNEY OF CHANGE.

THERE HAS BEEN ONE ORGANIZATION THAT I HAVEN’T MENTIONED YET THAT, FOR THE MOST PART, IS STILL STRUGGLING WITH MOVING AWAY FROM THE COMFORTS OF THE “ROUTINE” AND THE “FAMILIAR” TO STEP OUT IN FAITH INTO THE UNCHARTED RISKS OF THE “UNKNOWNS” OF CHANGE AND TRANSFORMATION.

THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN HESITATION AND RESISTANCE OF TAKING WHAT WE’RE FAMILIAR WITH TO VENTURE OUT INTO DEEPER WATERS OF A “WHOLE NEW ROUTINE.”

FOR A NATION THAT HAS EMBRACED THE ADVANCEMENT OF CHANGES IN SUCH THINGS AS TECHNOLOGY, SCIENCE, AND MEDICINE, I WONDER WHY IT HAS BEEN RESISTENT AND SLOW TO ADAPT THE CHANGING WORLD TO THE GOSPEL MESSAGE.

YES, I AM TALKING ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. IT MAY BE THE “AGE-OLD GOSPEL” BUT IT DOESN’T NEED TO BE REPEATED AND CONTINUALLY PACKAGED IN AN “AGE-OLD” WAY.

AS WITH ANY OTHER ASPECT OF OUR CULTURE, THE METHODS WE USE TO PRESENT THE GOSPEL MESSAGE OF JESUS CHRIST SHOULD CHANGE AS SOCIETY, CULTURE AND THE GENERATIONS CHANGE. THE GOSPEL WILL NEVER CHANGE, BUT WE MUST EMBRACE THE FACT THAT THE GOSPEL’S PRESENTATION CHANGES.


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