It has begun. Our marathon of birthdays started last week with mine, and then we have a birthday roughly every month all the way until the end of May. That is 5 birthdays in just under 4 months for our family. I know, it doesn’t really sound like much, but add in spring break, Mother’s Day, and Lent and Easter and spring is pretty busy for us. The running joke I usually tell people is that we had the worst family planning for a pastor ever.
But as these birthdays roll around, I watch our kids grow and change. We’ve been parents for just under 14 years now, and these kids have gone through so many phases, stages, and personality changes that it really boggles the mind. I saw a friend’s newborn the other day and it took me back to how life was back then and how different life is now. Still good, but just different. Really different.
And I can take all the pictures and videos I want, but I can’t keep things the same as they were. I can suppress our kids growing up by perpetually treating them like kids but that’ll just stunt their maturing process and is probably really annoying for them. I can hold onto the past as hard as I can, but time inevitably slips through my grip and brings a change that I can do nothing with but accept.
So maybe we should all just make the best of what comes. We can just look at what is and see the good in it. Whatever change happens, perhaps we can look at it not as a taking away from what we’ve once had, but a gift toward what can be.
I mean, we can’t stop the change, so let’s embrace it and see the blessing that it brings to us, our community, and to all people.
I should clarify that I’m not advocating for just forgetting the past and discarding it like it never happened. As we see in these readings, there is much to learn from history and much to be inspired by as we go into the future. We might, like Peter, want to capture what is and hold on to it for as long as we can. But we also can, like Moses, embrace what might come, while learning from the past and adapting for whatever life might bring us.
This isn’t an easy thing, as I don’t think anyone really likes change (especially not in the Lutheran church). Our natural inclination will usually be to hold onto what is good of the past, and milk it for all it’s worth.
But then in doing that, we could be missing out on all that God is doing. While being stuck in the past we might not recognise how God blesses us in our current times. By resisting change, we might not see God in our lives now, shining grace in and through us, lifting us up and calling us beloved.
I know, I don’t really like change all that much either. But we can’t deny that it’s inevitable, so we might as well make the best of it, by God’s grace, by God’s love, and by God’s unending blessing for all people, now and always.
Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!