Sermons

Summary: Remembering and Embracing Change

Good Morning.

Change. The world we face is ever changing. It’s something that we all face day to day but, for the most part, we ignore it until we’re slapped in the face with it. From changes that we encounter in our personal lives, our health, our families, or our surrounding societies. To changes that happen that are beyond our control, change is something that we just can’t get away from nor is it something that we should shy away from either. Jesus spoke about change a lot. Change from the way that we deal with others, our neighbors, to change in the way that we view our relationship with the one true God. Jesus says that change is probably the only secular thing we can count on. But what we can always count on to never change is our relationship that God has with us. Let me a bit more clearer. Not our relationship that we have with God, us to Him, but that God has with us, Him to us. There is a difference. Job, Abraham, Isaac, Paul, Peter, John. These are all people whose relationship to God changed over time but His relationship never changed with them.

Of course, some change is good. Like when the folks finally decided to install the lines for my internet. I think the final part of the installation is due at the end of this month. Progress. But some change may be a bit more challenging. And in the end, the changes we make in our relationships, whether they be to the one true God or to those closest to us, how we go about in our relationship to each of these makes a marked difference in how we may view the greater world we live in and in our final destination after our time here is up. Sort of like the story I am reminded of ….

At the end of the age when all the believers were standing in line waiting to get into heaven, God appeared and said, "I want all the men to form two lines.

One line will be for the men who were the true heads of their households. The other will be for the men who were dominated by their wives."

God continued, "I want all the women to report to St. Peter."

The women left and the men formed two lines.

The line of men who were dominated by their wives was seemingly unending.

The line of men who were the true head of their household had one man in it.

God said to the first line, "You men ought to be ashamed or yourselves. I appointed you to be the heads of your households and you were disobedient and have not fulfilled your purpose. Of all of you, there is only one man who obeyed me. Learn from him."

Then God turned to the lone man and asked, "How did you come to be in this line?"

The man replied, "My wife told me to stand here."

The more things change the more they stay the same. We all shy away from newness. Sometimes, though, we’re pressed hard and can no longer ignore it. This change. Sometimes those around us present us with a new idea, a new life circumstance, or a new opportunity to expand our current understandings and begin to grasp and hold onto something that was, that is, bigger than we are. But we tend to hold onto those things which have become comfortable. We like the things to be the way they were in the good old days. We like to hold onto those old ideas and memories because they’re what we can count on. They’re safe and a bit less fearful. A bit more secure. Jesus says that the uncomfortable path, the road that’s filled with potholes and cliffs is the road that we must follow. “Let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me, For those who want to save their life will lose it” is an invitation to follow the one that gives final rest to our own weary souls and rids our suspicions of all that’s different. That to follow Jesus requires us to go into the uncomfortable zones of our lives and embrace the difference and insecurity that come with that change.

I remember the first day of school when I took my oldest, Anna, to 1st grade. We both sat in the very big cafeteria and waited for someone to call her name. I could see the look on her face was fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what would happen next. As she sat there holding my hand. It kept getting tighter and tighter. I could begin to experience the very real uncertainty that she was feeling and then I began to fear myself. My girl is growing up and nothing will ever be the same again. But, everything changes and this was something that we would have to walk thru together, if even for a moment. And then there was my youngest, my baby, getting ready to walk down that aisle and me helping her down it. I remember the time in the room just prior to the start. The anticipation on her face. The look in her eyes. Her weakened voice. The uncertainty in her person, not of who she was gonna marry in just a little bit but the uncertainty that this new life she was fixing to walk into would be so different from what she was leaving behind. We looked at each other in a brief silence as it dawned on both of us that nothing will ever be the same again. And now, I gotta do it all over again but with my oldest that I held when she was just starting out. Folks change is HARD.

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