Devotional for Wednesday, May 6
Hebrews 13:8: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
This daily devotional series began in response to the COVID-19 crisis, so naturally the subject of change arises from time to time.
Whether some of the changes we are experiencing are permanent remains to be seen. For example, I have no doubt we will see what we think of as “normal” worship again, but we may have to make small adjustments. I’m wondering if handshakes, hugs and the joy of packed pews will be less a part of our church lives, at least on a seasonal basis as flu and corona viruses continue to make their way around.
Time will tell, and regardless, we will be okay. Change can be worrisome and even scary, but as the author of Hebrews reminds us, we worship a God of constancy, his unchanging love expressed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
There might even be some good changes to come out of this pandemic, assuming church people can think creatively while rooting themselves in Christ. We have discovered that following Christ is so important, at least some of us will modify our behaviors in surprising ways to glorify God and make and grow disciples in the faith.
I have to admit, I was quite comfortable with the old model. I love to worship in a beautiful sanctuary, gather in small groups and visit people at the hospital or in their homes. To me, that is the ideal model, and I will return to it as soon as I can.
Simultaneously, I also see that I will retain and even try to improve on some of these new practices, many of them deeply rooted in technology we church people have sometimes been slow to adopt. Video screens packed with faces bring their own kind of joy, particularly when I realize some of the people joining us could not be in the church building before the pandemic.
We simply have to be sure that the new methods are wedded to the truth of who Jesus Christ always is. Every person ever born or to be born needs to hear that truth, and it is a holy act to deliver it, regardless of the means.
There is a Savior extending a loving hand, telling us we always have hope and a brighter future. Nothing can change that truth.
Lord, may word of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to spread through the world and to new generations. Amen.