Monday, May 4, 2009

Change Revisited

Well, I'm not sure what to make of this exactly. On Saturday night all I could think about was taking a day off (Sunday) and just chilling at home. In fact, I had planned on getting over to Grace and Salem UM churches on Sunday morning to make announcement for the food drive. Honestly, though, I felt completely out of gas and in need of a serious recharge. Of course, in these times, my natural inclination is to retreat for a few moments. In so many words, I kind of brought this up to Jim on Saturday night at his bonfire and he more than willingly offered to cover the announcements.

After spending the evening at the bonfire and enjoying an amazing run on Sunday morning, I sat down on the big green couch with a book and settled in for a day off - a mini retreat of sorts. About 45 minutes later, I realized that this was not going to work and took a quick shower and headed out for the announcements. I don't know, it just didn't feel right to stay home. So I met up with Jim at Grace and we did our spiel and ducked out to head to Salem. Interestingly, the pastors of the two churches had "swapped pulpits" due to the upcoming merger so the pastor of Grace was at Salem. I talked with him for a few minutes before church and he asked if I was leaving after announcements. No, I planned to find my brother and stay for the service. He said that I'd hear the message again from a few weeks ago. Actually, I had even written about this message in my blog. The chain of events that transpired for me to be sitting in a pew listening to this message again seemed a bit of a stretch. This time I took a few more notes.

Life is about movement, change, and transition. However, we often don't like these changes. Actually, much of life is about life and death... and death is painful.

Some examples that he mentioned...
Empty nest syndrome

All of these can be difficult and involve some form of death... death to the way things were, death to one self. Yet, on the flip side is life... new life.

The key though is the hope that we have in Jesus. Without this hope, it is so difficult to face these and a myriad of other changes that occur in life.

Some time ago, a friend shared a story about a funeral that he had attended. The time at the cemetery was quite bizarre because the family of the deceased literally dove onto the coffin as it was being lowered into the ground. They just could could not handle the loss. There hope had died with the deceased and in some ways they were going with the deceased. This is an example of life without hope.

I'm still trying to decide if it was just an odd coincidence hearing Pastor Garver's message a second time. I'm guessing probably not and am wondering if this could have been some preparation for something. Regardless, I'm going to cling to hope even when things seem complicated and unclear.

Take care,


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