I have been thinking and reflecting a lot about change lately.  It’s been easy to do that here at St. Luke’s Church.  Our community is taking some bold steps in faith to follow where we believe God is leading us.

Change is often unsettling.  I think, by the way, that’s as it should be.  I would also say that being unsettled doesn’t necessarily have to lead to anxiety and fear.  I’m not sure who said this, but I believe it to be true,

life is 5% what happens to you and 95% in how you deal with it.”

Let’s try on another one:

the only constant is change.”

It seems to me that if we believe these to be true, on any level, then we’d be well served to embrace the reality of change and equip ourselves with the tools to do so.  As Christians I think we are ‘equipped’ with a great set of tools by virtue of our call to discipleship.

In his book The Sky is Falling, Alan Roxburgh contends that we would do well to understand the important difference between change and transition.  Roxburgh basically says that change is the often unavoidable forces that are external, transition is the result of our internal responses to external realities.  To paraphrase our first quotation change is 5% of the challenge, transition is 95% of it.

Change is hard in the Church, maybe there more than most places.  We like something we can count on in our relationship to God.  However, if we spend much time at all with Scripture we don’t find much evidence of the status quo in the external circumstances.  Where we find terra firma is in God’s faithfulness and in God’s promise not to forsake us.

The decision to follow God is to acknowledge that things will change as sure as the sun rises in the east.  The commitment to follow God is also to acknowledge that God’s Spirit will inspire us to faithful responses in the face of change the reflect God’s image in the world.  I would contend that God’s most identifiable feature is that of hope in the face of change, of trust in the face of uncertainty.  It is no more and no less than being willing to live in the first call of God in covenant in the Hebrew Scriptures.  Simply put our pilgrim’s way is to live into God’s call-“I will be your God and you will be my people.”

I know of no change that can trump that promise or confound God’s wisdom to leads us from where we are to where we are called to go.  In a nutshell, transition is simply a commitment to walk with God in the reality of ongoing change.  It’s simple, but not so easy and that’s why it’s best done with companions, with fellow pilgrims.

Fear not.  Don’t walk alone.  There’s safety in numbers!  Go boldly into the future trusting God and your faith community to walk with you and deliver you to the future God holds in his heart for you.

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