FINDING FIRM GROUND IN THE MIDST OF CHANGE
No one, back on January 1st when 2020 began and people made resolutions only to break them a few days later, would have predicted how this year has turned out.
We have all had to face change – no one has been unaffected by the coronavirus. Some people have lost more than others – I weep for those whose loved ones have died over this period, hard enough at any time but even more unbearable when they weren’t able to say good bye properly in person or at the kind of funeral they would have wished to give.
My heart goes out to those who have not been able to leave their houses for months and have become lonely and depressed as a result of not being able to join in normal activities or see the people who usually bring them joy.
There’s the children who have missed months of schooling – not just academic work but also the learning that comes with the arts and music and the companionship of friends; students facing graduation with no jobs to go to; the uncertainty of how GCSE and A Level results will work out this year as grading is done differently.
And the pain brought to many household as people lose jobs and businesses and struggle financially with anxieties about the future.
Those are just some of the way that people have been affected, but of course everyone’s lives have been changed.
Churches, now beginning to open again for worship, have had a much greater on-line presence – wonderful for some, for instance those who are now too physically frail to attend worship on a Sunday, but who can join again through youtube, Zoom and so on, but excluding for those not yet able to access the internet.
Change is part of the human world – some thrive on it, others get left behind. What has Christianity to say about this?
I can’t in a few words give a long academic theological treatise, which will probably be a relief to you reading this. But I remember a verse from the Letter to the Hebrews in the New Testament, which reminds us that, though change is all around, some things remain the same: “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13.8) In the midst of the turmoil of this life, it means that we can trust always in the love of God, revealed in his Son, who came to show us that some things remain strong whatever we face: love, forgiveness, the worth and value of each human being and grace among others. When our foundations are shaken, God is able to be a rock for those who trust, and will hold us firm as we face the storms of life. All we have to do is let go and put our hand in the hand of Jesus who will lead us through the changes we face and never let us go.