The Possibility of Change

April 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Pastor's Corner

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Some things never change. The world keeps spinning, and the sun keeps shining. The rivers keep flowing, and the wind keeps blowing. God keeps loving, and our hearts, for now, keep beating. We can be glad that some things never change. We don’t want some things to change, like gravity; that’s something nice to keep us grounded.

But with other things, the lack of change presents more of a challenge. It can cause despair. In words from scripture, “one generation goes its way, the next one arrives, but nothing changes – it’s business as usual for old planet earth…what was will be again, what happened will happen again. There’s nothing new on this earth. Year after year it’s the same old thing” (Ecclesiastes 1:4, 9). I hear sorrow from this wisdom teacher.

Do you, also, ever feel frustrated at the lack of change? It can seem like we are fighting the same battles and getting nowhere. You still miss your loved one, years after their death. You still fight with your spouse or siblings, variations of the same fight you always have. You still struggle with sustaining healthy habits.

We all know we don’t do the things we should do. The Bible talks about this. The Apostle Paul struggled, too; “I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time” (Romans 7:19-20). It’s hard to change our habits, our ways, and our lives.

We know we should floss more to improve the health of our mouth, but we don’t. We ought to exercise more and eat 5-13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day to strengthen our bodies, but it takes discipline. We should call Grandma Ruth, visit Aunt Judy, read that book, listen to our antagonists, and walk in the woods…all to strengthen our well-being. The list of “should” goes on and on. People often tell me they want to get back into worship and involved with the church, for their own spiritual wellness. What keeps them? The same thing that keeps us from other things that are good for us. Will it ever change for the better?

Whether for ourselves or our world, we might truly wonder if change is ever possible. Will American politics ever move beyond partisan gridlock? Will we ever achieve racial and gender equality? Will our society ever successfully address gun violence? Will terrorism and extremism ever finally give way to understanding and harmony? Probably not, but I do believe that change is possible. Because I believe in Easter.

Benjamin Franklin taught that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” As one Easter cartoon clarifies, “now only taxes are for certain.” Easter means that the future can be better than the past. Easter means that the best is yet to come.  Easter means that change is not only possible but it will come and is coming. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead gives us hope for a new tomorrow. We have resurrection power in our lives, thanks to Easter and Christ’s victory.

We can see Easter in the lives of people. One friend is pursuing the way of healing after divorce, leaning into scripture and letting go of resentment. That’s happening by the healing power of the risen Jesus. Another friend is changing her lifestyle regarding food and fitness…with a coach, an accountability group, and new strategies to achieve her goals. Easter power will be her strength. My sister is another; I’m proud of her, too. She went back to school and is nearly done with a Master’s degree after feeling defeated from her career of almost 20 years. It wasn’t easy with a husband and three grade school children, but she changed her life by the hope that Jesus gives us through his resurrection from the dead.

May we all experience the power of Easter in our lives…and know that change is possible.

In Christ,

Pastor Matthew Poock

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

-Philippians 4:13

 

 

  • Brooke Fraser

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