The sun shining and the warmer temperatures are unmistakable signs of the change of seasons that is almost upon us—or even on us already! The changing seasons mean so much more for many people that the earth’s being in a different position in its orbit around the sun. I grew up in FL with very little by way of evidence of the changing of the seasons—Darling Wife Karol even less so, with her having grown up in Miami. Believe it or not, one of the attractions that caught our hearts years ago when we were in seminary in Dayton, and that made us eager to come back, was the dynamics of the changing seasons.

You ever hear the seasonal joke about the guy from Minnesota? As the seasons were changing into fall, he was talking with a friend, who commented, “That was a great summer, wasn’t it?” To which he replied, “I’m not sure, I was sick that week.”

At least our seasons here last a bit longer than just a week! And I imagine for many of us, even though we love to sing about a white Christmas, and that “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” by this time of year we are more than ready for a change, and eager to feel the sun on our backs rather than “Jack Frost nipping at your nose.” So how come we’re so eager for change when it comes to the seasons, yet in other facets of our lives, we’d rather fight change than embrace it?

As we start to think about SOME day, finally moving past the COVID pandemic restrictions (for which we are also more than eager for change!), I need to keep reminding myself that crisis merely accelerates change, and that what we will some day do to “get back to normal” just won’t be the “normal” we used to know. And somehow, despite how uncomfortable some of these changes can be, can we still have faith that God is somehow sovereign, and can we still say “we know that in ALL THINGS God works for the good of those who love Him and are called to His purposes” (Romans 8:28).

When winter changes to spring, we know the snows will melt, the air will get warmer, new flowers and new puppies will come, and we’ll see the bursting forth of new life all around us—because we’ve seen it happen so many times. But with whatever comes post-COVID, we don’t have these same assurances, because it has not happened in our lifetimes. Last time a pandemic came around, deaths brought on by the 1918-19 Spanish Flu would have caused 2 million deaths in today’s numbers. Yet the world kept turning, and somehow afterward, the sun rose again for a new day, and the same will happen for us. While there will still be uncertainties for our post-pandemic life, just as we can trust that the world will keep turning, we can trust that God is already there, and that God will still be calling us to “make and mature Disciples for the transformation of the world.”

So here’s to change—may we find God’s path both in and through change—but also to the on-going call too, to keep being the Body of Christ in the world, and keep making disciples, no matter how things change!

Rev. Jim

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