I recently led a worship service with a man that I first met twenty-seven years ago. He was the preacher in the service and
I was the lector (the guy who reads the Bible readings for the service).
As he was preaching, I was thinking how much time has gone by and that this man hasn’t really changed all that much. Yes, his hair is more silver now than it was when I first met him. But his voice is the same, his preaching style is the same, and the message he gave hasn’t changed at all. And no, that isn’t all I thought – I was actually listening to his message about perspective. He was preaching on how the Ascension of Jesus gives us new perspectives on God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (starting with an illustration about how flying gives us a different perspective of the world).
As I was driving home with my twelve-year-old son sitting next to me, I was thinking how much I have changed in twenty-seven years. In addition to my own hair being more silver now, there are other changes that, well, have changed me.
I’ve been married for 19 years and 10 months. My wife and I are raising three sons, the oldest just turning 15 years-old a few days ago. We’ve lived in five different states in the 20 years we’ve been together. I’ve served three churches as a full-time pastor and am now serving my fourth church as a part-time (but hopefully soon-to-be full-time) pastor. I’ve gained thirty-five pounds in the last 20 years and lost 40 pounds (in that order, thankfully). I have less body parts (one less vermiform appendix and gall-bladder) and added a metal plate to my wrist and two metal-and-bone brackets to my upper spine. I’ve owned one house, rented three others along with three apartments and lived in one parsonage. My wife and I have had seven cars in our nearly 20 years of marriage – one of them actually being a new one (11 miles on it when we bought it)!
What does all this mean? Well, to me it means that “the more things change the more they stay the same” (quoted by so many, but I’m hearing Neil Peart’s quote in my head right now).
And that leads to me to remember that Jesus Christ doesn’t change. Jesus is the same “yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
2000 years ago, Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary. Jesus lived a perfect life. He taught amazing things, loved amazingly and did miraculous things. Jesus suffered, bled, and died to take the sins of the world away. Three days later Jesus rose from the dead. He then commissioned His disciples to tell this Good News to others.
They continued to tell the Good News of Jesus, making disciples, and today the same message is told in millions of churches around the world to billions of people.
The changeless Gospel continues to change hearts and lives. Thank you, God for giving me a part in it!