Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. –Hebrews 13:8
My, how things have changed! My, how things are still the same! Do you feel that tension in your life? As we work from home and teachers virtually “homeschool” students, we’ve experienced a tremendous disruption in our daily patterns. Yet, at the same time, the same work or learning, the same chores, many of the same things which made up our life before the pandemic are still here. I guess the general human observation that “the more things change, the more they stay the same” is true in this sense.
It’s also true, however, to say that our current experience changes us. Or, at least, we are adding new things to our lives: more dog walks and bike rides, more food, more on-line interaction through platforms like Zoom. Also, I’d like to think we will all come out of the pandemic kinder people, more generous, more thoughtful, more open to our neighbors. Only time will tell. Once we have more freedom to move about, that’s when the actual test of civic virtue takes place. Will we retain a greater sense of community and responsibility in loving our neighbors?
Like society, the Church has been changed and is challenged to ask itself what are the good things about this change we can keep. Many churches (including Holy Cross) have made greater use of technology to keep members connected and reach new people. We are grateful for your continued participation in what we are doing, but what other changes will happen as we adjust to the overall changes around us? For some, the changes will be exciting and welcomed; for others, the changes will cause anxiety and concern.
One of the first things individuals and organizations facing change have to tell themselves is what won’t change. The non-negotiables. A healthy individual or organization knows those are things like values and purpose. In contrast, unhealthy individuals and organizations fuss and fight over things like carpet color or their particular place in the pecking order. Christians will gladly suffer loss for the sake and cause of Christ, but I don’t know too many who will give their life for the paint color.
I think what is important now is not to speculate on any of the above changes or their effects, especially as it concerns the Church, but rather consider what won’t change, what hasn’t changed, and what is in a sense a non-negotiable—Jesus. Jesus, the one who has come into the world not to condemn it but to save it (John 3:17). That’s what (who!) we hope in and take comfort in—change or no change.
So, even as the restrictions continue and change rides shotgun, know we will come out of this experience different, both as individuals and the Church. But also consider that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever and that’s what is most comforting and exciting of all.
In the Name of the Unchanging Christ,