Change is good. Change is hard. Change is a part of living because if you “ain’t” changing you are dying. Pick your cliche about change. Depending on the change that you are thinking about, one of them has likely applied. The huge changes in our society can both excite us and worry us. Who would have predicted just twenty years ago that gay marriage would be a thing? The huge changes in science daily alter our lives. The first smartphone was released just eight years ago, now it is hard for me to imagine life without one. What will I be saying that about eight years from now? Huge changes in our economy eliminate jobs for some and create opportunities for others. A robotics scientist in a lengthy interview on Fresh Air, predicted that robots would change warehousing in ten years so much that nearly all big company warehouse jobs would be eliminated. What would that mean to the thousands of Columbus workers in the large warehouses that ring our city? And of course all of our personal lives are constantly changing. When I came to Messiah in 2003 I had three kids in high school. Now, those three kids have given me three grandkids. Other changes that happen in our personal lives are less joyful, the death of a relationship, friendship, friend or family member.

We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t wish there was at least one place that didn’t get rocked by change. Could that be the church? I hate to disappoint, but the church is a living organism, the body of Christ. If something alive is not changing, it is dying. If change is the measure of life, than Messiah is really, really, really alive. Our sanctuary that has been virtually unchanged for almost fifty years is receiving a major face lift. Our staff is welcoming two new full time ministers, Pastor Liz Lowry and Children’s Minister Michelle Meifert. Lay leader and church treasurer for decades, Ron Moder announced in council in August that he was stepping down. Five years ago we hardly had any contact with our neighboring churches. Now, not a week goes by that we are not working side by side in outreach ministry. I am constantly meeting one on one with other clergy planning and organizing. The changes in society are causing every church to pause and reconsider ideas about right and wrong held for two millennia.

What doesn’t change? God’s creative love that is constantly making all things new. God is not some big clockmaker that built the world, wound it up and is sitting back watching, waiting for it to wind down. God is active in the midst of our lives, in the midst of our changes, showing new paths for love and new opportunities for grace. Our God revealed in Jesus that death is never the last word, only a new way for God to do something even more fantastic. Nothing stays the same, because our God is always making all things new. And though at times I get overwhelmed by change, I wouldn’t want it any other way.  Peace, Pastor Karl

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