Thursday, January 4, 2018

DIRECTION: Time for a Change

Resistance to change pretty much comes with the territory of being a church. It doesn't matter how big or small or ridiculous the change might be. For example, it was less than a century ago that most churches didn't have restrooms. If you had to go... well... the woods are available to you. It is hard to imagine but most churchgoers didn't like the idea of bathrooms being installed near a sacred space. Most people didn't like the idea of going to the bathroom in their own home. It was controversial. It was a change. And yet it is something that none of us seem to be bothered by now.

This Sunday is Baptism of the Lord Sunday. There is a word that you can always find around baptism and that is "repentance." The word literally means to change. It means your life from this point forward will be different. You will be transformed. We turn away from something to something that is better. Repentance is all about change. It is one of the central words that we hold on to as a Christ-following people.

How odd that we proclaim repentance yet we hate change. We must expose this tension. The hopeful outcome of our baptism is that our lives will conform/shape into the will of God. This is no easy feat.

Change doesn't come naturally to our behaviors. It is something we resist. We resist looking into the mirror. Nobody gossips about themselves, "Did you see what I did today... can you believe that I did that?" We like to talk about how others can change but not us. Changing is significant. A half all deaths are preventable. Yet we will die earlier because "changing" is far too difficult. And death is a much easier pill to swallow.

RC Sproul said, "For change to happen in the world it must first happen in us..." You might think the goals that you set might not impact others but you are wrong. You might choose to eat healthier and inspire someone to make similar choices. We make goals and changes not just for the betterment of ourselves but for the community.

So for myself personally I am setting some small goals. But goals none the less that will grow, stretch and change me. I hope you might go with me.