For the first several years of our marriage, my husband knew that he could come home on any given day and find that I had rearranged the furniture. As he became used to it, he would simply chuckle and say "Did you need a change?" You see, I grew up in an Air Force family and we moved every 3 years, give or take a little. The change of packing and moving was all I knew, so when I got married and stopped moving it took some time to learn a new pattern. Until that happened, I figured out that rearranging the furniture was enough to satisfy the part of me that needed a change. As I have gotten older, I have learned that while I don't fully resist change, there are situations in which I wish things could just stay the same.
Some people love change, and search it out. Others do all they can to resist it and hide from it. Many of us fear change, but I wonder if we fear change itself, or whether we fear how the change will affect us personally? Reality is that change happens all around us every day. Sometimes the event is dramatic and we are able to recognize immediately that things are different. But change can also happen slowly, over time. The Grand Canyon is a good example of how the physical landscape of a piece of land has been forever changed, over years too numerous to count, into something striking and beautiful and very different than it once was.
Our faith changes, too. Perhaps you have experienced an event during your life that deepened your faith in a sudden and dramatic way. You can probably clearly remember details about that experience, and can describe in detail how it changed you. For some, the deepening and strengthening of your faith happens gradually as you continually do the work of prayer, study, worship and serving. In those cases, it may not seem like anything is happening until you take the time to stop and reflect. Author C.S. Lewis wrote, "Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything looks different?" Whether sudden or gradual, our faith should be constantly changing as we grow, learn, and trust more than we did the minute, or the month, before. How has your faith changed over time?
This Sunday we will encounter a man who needed a change, and perhaps had it within his power to help it happen, but he let circumstances and excuses hold him back. Perhaps he was afraid of what his life would be like if he was healthy. Perhaps the comfort of the known (even though it wasn't ideal) pulled at him more than the unknown of what the future might hold. (Read John 5:1-9 before you come to worship - you'll have a head start on how the man's encounter with Jesus helped him to step, literally, into a changed pattern of living.)
Change happens. It's happening today, in some way, in your life. Are you ready to face it with faith? Join us on Sunday at 9 or 10:30 a.m., as we gather as the community of faith for worship.