It is true as the saying has it; “The times, they are a changing.”
So much has taken place in the past months, that we all, I am sure, are living in a state of simply not knowing what we are supposed to do.
On one hand, regulations and government decisions are announced and are relatively straightforward and then there are the changes; there are the new emphases that exist and, later, in a couple of days’ time, the emphases yet again change and this has created a sense of instability in some people, given the fluidity affecting life, created by some cases of those who simply don’t care and who do their own thing, regardless.
Now, that is only one situation addressed currently, but the times, historically, have been changing constantly and Alistair, in a homily at one Service, indicated as he very succinctly, journeyed though the history of the Church, that there have been over the centuries, a variety of changes, supremely important changes like the Reformation, preparing, as it did, the ground for us as a denomination, reformed, but ever reforming and always, as the common denominator in all; the solid ground of the great basics of the faith that don’t and won’t alter.
It is that “ever reforming” facet of our Church life that has to be taken up by each generation and there always will be the people, across all the generations, who, nostalgically, will yearn for the “good old days”.
Now these days, the “good old days”, apply to all generations, as they reflect on what was the “norm” in their day and this applies so importantly to the Church.
We have to change and while we may bemoan some of the governance and indeed the liturgy of the Church, notwithstanding the “new breed” of ministers who endorse these things, sensibly we have to grasp the nettle and accept that the times constantly will continue to change and that, however we feel about things, we will receive the inspiration of the Spirit to address change, whatever that may be.
We have to hold on to the strong truth of the guidance of the Spirit and accept, as again, Alistair said on that Sunday, that we worship a God, through Jesus Christ, who is the same, yesterday, today and forever.
That is an absolute of the faith and, resting on that absolute, let us ever move forward, believing that that same unchanging God, will take us through all the changes that may apply to us, because He accepts change when all is done in His Name and that is the primary basis of anything and indeed, all that we do for His Sake.
Not change for change’s sake, but change to honour, in the situation in life of all generations, the same God to whom we bow in humility, enacting all we do through love for each other, based on the irrefutable fact that, we love, because He loved us first.
Thanks be to God.