Well, summer is officially over, school has been in session for several weeks now. Most families are getting settled into the new routines of school, work, home, and extra-curricular activities that are part of the education system today. Trying to cover all the bases that these different activities entail can be difficult. Trying to work some quality family time into that busy schedule can really be a challenge. The business of being a family can be overwhelmed by just being busy trying to go all the different places, get the children to their various activities, and deciding who will cover what errand or task. When do we stop to take a breath? When do we find time to pray and be in the presence of God? Where do we go to get away from the managing the business of busy-ness? Sometimes we just have to stop for a moment and offer a breath prayer to God. Something like “O Lord, I just have a moment. Please help me to feel your Presence. Pour your grace over me so I can make it through this day.” Just stopping for a moment can make a big difference. Won’t you take a moment to breathe today?
In Sunday Worship during the months of July and August at Faith UMC we have focused on the spiritual journey which is a life following Jesus Christ. We’ve discussed God’s presence with us as we journey through the wilderness of life. We have addressed relying on God’s grace as we work to overcome our worldly nature, and trying to live into the Kingdom of Heaven proclaimed by Jesus. We have talked about the difficulty of living “in the world” but not being “of the world” as we try to persevere in our faith. We have asked what it means to call ourselves Christ’s people, and how we can work to become united in Christ. In the last three weeks of “The Journey” series we look at Reconciliation, Transformation, and Living Resurrection Lives. These are challenging concepts that require hard spiritual work. They call for more change, change in our attitudes, change in our treatment of others, and change in how we see and perceive the world. As challenging as life is for all of us, and as difficult as we find it to be to undergo change, we are being changed by the world around us. The question is not whether we are being changed or not, we are. The question is will we choose to allow the Spirit of God to work change in us, and through us in the world around us? Or, will we let the world the change us to conform to the world? Which change will we choose?
“But we haven’t done it that way before!” Those are words that every pastor or person with a new idea or suggestion have heard. Change is one of the hardest things for us as human beings to accept. Yet change is inevitable, change is constant, change is going on all around us – whether we acknowledge it or not. Well, we are undergoing some changes here at Faith UMC; changes with our pastoral staff, changes in our website, and changes in the way we do things and seek to answer God’s call to us to witness to God’s love in this area of the South Austin community. All of these changes are part of the constant ebb and flow of the spiritual life. The Spirit of God is eternally drawing God’s people to places, people, and perceptions of the world around us that are new and different. We are called to grow in love of God and neighbor. It is only by being willing to attempt new things that people are able to grow. In order to do that we need to be open to change. Because that is one way that the Spirit draws us near to God. Change is good. Change is here. Change is God at work in you, and in me, and in all God’s people. Thanks be to God.