Waiting and Watching

Sunday’s Scripture ~ John 10:22-30.

I don’t like change.

The frequency I am hearing and saying this sentence increases daily.

It is true – we like what we like. We like what we know. Therefore, we do not like change.

It is also true – if we do not change, we do not achieve our full potential. If we do not change, we deny ourselves growth and maturity.

If we do not change, we die.

During times of change I find comfort by remembering and returning to the constants in my life – God’s faith in me, the love of and for my family, the good news in hymns, and the truth contained in Scripture. These are sure and trustworthy anchors for me.

On Wednesday I had the privilege to preach the chapel service at Westminster Winter Park as I have done quarterly for the last seven years. These mornings spent in worship with this community have been such a blessing. The residents became mentors and friends. They helped shape me as a person and a pastor. I am so grateful.

Many of my chapel visits were on days that one of Westminster’s musical groups offered their leadership in worship; Wednesday was no different. The choir sang a rendition of “God of the Ages.” The last verse of that hymn sings:

Refresh thy people on their toilsome way;
lead us from night to never-ending day;
fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
and glory, laud, and praise be ever thine.

The phrases “refresh thy people” and “lead us from night to never-ending day” speak deeply to my soul in this season of transition. Amidst all the movement and shift associated with change, change is also an opportunity to refresh and to be led. Our God has a very clear idea of who God wants us to be and what God wants us to do. I, for one, am really good at overcomplicating things, most especially myself. The gift of change is the ability to refresh and be led in and for God’s intention for both my life and my ministry.

The same is true for the Tuskawilla UMC Family as you prepare to continue your ministry alongside Pastor Heather.

My prayer for the coming days is that all our lives truly will be filled with love and grace divine as Jesus refreshes and leads us to the new days that await us. Change is not hard; resistance to change is hard. So may we all be encouraged to be refreshed rather than resist the change. The God of the Ages – including this one! – is leading us!

Prayer: “O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise, the glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace! My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim, to spread through all the earth abroad the honors of thy name.”* Amen.

*”O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing,” The United Methodist Hymnal 57.

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