Summary: Many things change, but our faithful God never changes, and we can rest in His faithfulness.
The Same Old Same Old
TCF Sermon Text
January 3, 2010
Things change, donï¿½t they? Things about our life, our looks, our love, our work, our living circumstances.
For some of us, 2010 begins looking much different than life looked when we began 2009. Some of us have more children. All of us with children have older children, whose life circumstances are changing with their ages, which brings more changes to us as parents.
Some of us now have fewer children at home, now facing the empty nest - there are a lot of us dealing with that new reality in the past few years. For some of us, our family makeup has changed for other reasons ï¿½ a loved one has died, a child has gotten married. For some of us, our work situation is different now than it was a year ago.
When you think further back, weï¿½ve just ended the first decade of a new millennium. Think of all the things that have changed in our lives these past 10 years. Looking back 10 years, many more children have been born. Many more children have gone off to school. Many more have gotten married. Many have moved away. Many of our loved ones, spouses, children, parents, have left this world for the next.
Think back 10 years ago. Here we are at January 3, 2010. For many of us on January 3, 2000, which was a Monday that year, there was relief that the y2k bug didnï¿½t catapult us back into the stone ages.
On that date, Bill Clinton was still president, so thatï¿½s now 2 presidents ago. When the last decade began, blackberries were still a fruit. Green was still more of a color than a movement, or for some, almost a religion.
You didnï¿½t have to take your shoes off before you got on an airplane, and you could bring a bottled drink on board the plane with you. 911 was only the number you called when you had an emergency. Few people had ever heard of a blog. Facebook was when you were actually reading a book and had your face in it. Google was a funny word but not a verb yet. Nobody had an ipod. Hardly any of us knew someone who texted. Tweet was only something birds did.
2000 was the year that the human genome was mapped for the very first time. In the year 2000, very few people knew who Osama Bin Laden was, and Tiger Woods was just the worldï¿½s best golfer and not the fodder for tabloid headlines.
For some of us, high school or college were still ahead of us ï¿½ now all thatï¿½s behind us. For some of us, marriage and children were ahead of us when the decade began ï¿½ now weï¿½ve experienced that and are on to new circumstances.
The end of one year and the beginning of another often prompts reflection, and resolutions, and planning, and hopes, and dreams. It often prompts celebration ï¿½ as if thereï¿½s something magical about the clock turning from 11:59 to midnight on New Yearï¿½s Eve ï¿½ perhaps something that will make our lives different and better. How else can you explain the spectacle of the thousands who gather in NYï¿½s Times Square each New Yearï¿½s Eve?
We reflect on the year gone by, and think forward to the year ahead, wondering or hoping or even planning for whatï¿½s to come. Thereï¿½s something in us that has a need to mark milestones, and the beginning of a new year is one that many people mark in some way.
A month or so ago, I was thinking about TCFï¿½s 40th anniversary, another important milestone, and looking at all the clippings and photos, and I began to think about this habit we have of looking back and looking forward.
We seem to have a need to remember, and in fact, weï¿½re encouraged by scripture to remember. In some contexts, weï¿½re also encouraged to forget. But one of the things weï¿½re often encouraged to remember is what I want to focus on this morning as we begin a new year.
In many ways, weï¿½re beginning a new era here as a church. Weï¿½re in the 2nd generation of TCF, and things have changed since those early days. I think Jimï¿½s admonition at the end of his talk on the day we celebrated our 40th anniversary as a church was appropriate. He said:
ï¿½Sometimes individuals get hung up on genealogies, and start researching from whence their families came. And somehow they find identity and worth in that. Letï¿½s not do that here - letï¿½s not live in the past, or even in the future, but in the moment, as the Holy Spirit is speaking to us every single day as we seek to serve Him. On the other hand, letï¿½s give thanks to Our Lord, who has sovereignly, through a series of events, and through some extraordinary people, brought TCF into existence.ï¿½