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Things Still Change.

May 28, 2016

I’m not preaching this Sunday but there are many changes coming up. There could be huge changes heading my way and this country’s way if we vote to leave the EU. There are changes, good and bad on the horizon for the church in this little part of Norfolk. My motorbike is on it’s last legs so there is change on the horizon there too. This thought of change has sent me scurrying back through my archive for an article from a couple of years ago called, “Things Change”.

Things change. In fact change is one of the few things in life that we can be certain of. Time will pass; like it or not! Not very long ago Prayer Book Evensong would have been the mainstay of parish worship. Today the majority of parishes never use it and there must be many younger Christians who have never been to a Prayer Book service at all, never mind an Evensong. I knew next to nothing of the Prayer Book or Evensong until after I was ordained. Indeed, when I left college I believed that all Prayer Books should be thrown away or burned; it had no place in the modern world. I’ve changed, I now have a soft spot and an appreciation of the flow of the words.

Change happens, and when it does it can be unsettling and even frightening. So much so that our natural inclination can be to fight against it. Some changes are rightly opposed, but not all. I need to be careful before dismissing something new. It may be the result of the Holy Spirit trying to blow me where I should go or it could just be the fickle wind of fashion. I need discernment, the sort of discernment that can only come from a close relationship with my God.

Things change and I must adapt or fade into irrelevance. The world is changing and the Church is changing in response. I need to speak out where I see injustice, or vice, or evil of any sort. But there is no point in me moaning if I have nothing better to offer. I strongly believe that I need to show by my actions that there is hope of a better way. Everyone with the Spirit living in them has that hope. I have the hope planted in my heart by the Holy Spirit. I have the hope of a life lived as one with the God who created me and all things. I have hope that is stronger than death. I have a hope that brings meaning and even contentment, in good times or bad. I have the message of Love, the one commandment given to me by Jesus; to love God, and to let that love flow out to all, transforming me utterly in the process.

Things change, but the wonder at the heart of the Gospel remains constant. It is the expressions of that Gospel that change.

Change happens, but I mustn’t be afraid. Who knows what the Spirit will do. Sometime in the future empty church buildings may be vibrant centres of faith once again. Our Church is growing once again, so who knows it may not be long before I see the life of Christ back at the heart of our nation’s life.

Things change, thank God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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