“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.”
The writer to the Hebrews says that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. But one could also say that we are surrounded by a great cloud of changes. While many crave consistency, we live in a constant state of flux. Students move on to the next level. Colleagues move on to new ventures. Soldiers and sailors move on with new orders. But God’s people face more than just moves. A doctor’s diagnosis changes plans for the future. The loss of a loved one changes the family completely. There is not constancy or consistency this side of eternity, except God.
Our Lord promises His people that He does not change. What a comfort it provides to the church worker who contemplates a call and to the congregation members who await the arrival of a new pastor. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. That brings peace and solace to anxious hearts that worry about changes to one’s physical and mental abilities. Even when we see the frenetic pace of change, we draw strength in knowing that our Lord remains the same and in control, even when what we see appears to be so chaotic.
For as Christ cried out from the cross and the curtain of the temple was torn in two, God was still in control. While the disciples cowered in fear behind locked doors, Yahweh still reigned. And the God who brought all things into being by His creative Word, raised Christ Jesus from the dead. Our almighty God is the source of order amidst the chaos and constancy amidst the changes.
Every afternoon in eighth grade, Mr. Hugo Themer made his students at Martin Luther School in Louisville, Kentucky, sing a hymn. He could only play about a dozen hymns and “Abide with Me” was his favorite. So at least twice a week during the most chaotic time of adolescence, I sing the comforting words, “Change and decay in all around I see; O Thou who changest not, abide with me.” In midst of the changes of this life, may you find comfort in the knowing that the God who does not change, abides with you, whatever you face and wherever you go.
Prayer - Lord God, You have called Your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that Your hand is leading us and Your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan