The more things change, the more they stay the same
By Amy Norton
May 6, 2021 - 1:56pm
Peter has had a bit of a week, when we find him in this Sunday's scripture passage. God has pretty much instructed him to let go of some of his deeply held beliefs, to let go of things that brought him a sense of comfort, connection, and familiarity, and to try structuring the church and its religious practices a little -well, quite a bit- differently.
Wait, is this a story about Peter or a story about every church leader in 2021 as they plan for a post-lockdown worship and program year? Sometimes it's hard to tell...
We have a joke in this industry, that the seven last words of the dying church are, "we've never done it that way before." Ironically, or perhaps, beautifully, when we look back through the history of our religious foreparents and traditions, we see that on the whole, we've rarely let that stop us. Perhaps, even if we've never done it that particular way before, never had the pews in that particular configuration, or never worshipped anywhere other than the sanctuary, or never played that genre of music in worship, or never had weekly worship at a time other than Sunday morning, perhaps courageously trying new ways of being the church, and trusting the Spirit to lead us, is indeed the way we've always done it.
Sometimes the changes are big, sometimes they're small. Sometimes the big changes in all their stark contrast are easier to swallow, and the small changes are the ones that tug at our heartstrings and struggle to escape from our tightly clenched fists as we hold fast to them in fear.
This Sunday, we'll talk about change, experimentation, and how the Holy Spirit always seems to be one step ahead of us; join me at 11am on our YouTube channel as we try our best to keep up with her.
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Image credit: “Dust in the Wind” by Lindsay Manolakos