For many people the idea of change is very threatening and a source of fear, even when there may also be some excitement involved too. Both positive and negative changes can be sources of stress. Our diocese is seeing many changes right now, with the departure of a number of senior staff off to new and, hopefully, exciting things. Whether as a Bishop or Archdeacon being called to a new diocese, or as an individual Christian, we may become aware of Gods call to us to make changes in our lives, our motivations and our obedience. This is no easy task, and sometimes God may have to call persistently and loudly!
Our society too faces so many potential changes as we move through this time. Our desire for things to go back to normal may well expose our fear of change and loss. What has been precious to us in the past may need to be appreciated, mourned and allowed to let go, as we seek the new thing that God, through Isaiah 43:18-19 ( and frequently Bishop Christine too in her reminder of Isaiahs words) is calling us to. If we are honest, our desire is based usually on our false concept of control. When life changes, we are moved out of being able to control things, and we may find this threatening. This surely is where our faith in the good purposes of the character of God must impact our thinking the one who is described as unchanging in his loving faithfulness to us, still calls us to embrace change and watch for the new things. All life forms require change for growth. The resilience shown by so many in recent days now needs to be earthed in embracing change, whether we actually like it or not. Christian maturity embraces change valuing and appreciating what God has done, and the gifts that tradition has offered us, but seeing that each day and each year brings a newness for us to choose. May we grow in openness to change and seek Gods leading.