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From the Pastor’s Desk:


The first full week of May I had an unusual experience.  I went to the Automate Show in Chicago.  For those who do not know what that is (and I was one of them)—it is the largest trade show for businesses that showcase robotics and automation.  I went because Eli heard about this event and wanted to go (robotic is the area that he is thinking about pursuing).

We walked around and saw all kinds of robotics—arms that are able to pick up just about anything (including cars), a process to be able to pick up products and put them in containers to ship, forklifts that move without a driver, and even a robotic device that poured glasses of beer and then delivered them to people.

As I walked around with Eli, I had images of the Jetsons in my mind.  In some ways, a lot of what I was seeing in real time is what people in ages past talked about what the future would be like.

I also had lots of thoughts about all the changes that were occurring.  And with change, it can be exciting but for others change represents anxiety.  Many are scared of what lies ahead.  Many may wonder if they can keep up with the change?  Will it eliminate my job?  Will technology take over?

All this is not restricted to the business world.  The church has some of the same issues with change.  After all, many church fights begin with the words—‘but we have never done it that way before!’  

As I continue to reflect upon this experience, I had a hymn and a scripture verse come to my mind.  The hymn is ‘The Church of Christ, in Every Age’ (LBW #433).  The first stanza is ‘The church of Christ in every age Beset by change, but Spirit led.’  It acknowledges that the church throughout time will change and hopefully this change is Spirit led.  These changes can be small and some may be big.  The size of the change may also depend upon the individual person.  Changing a hymnal may be very disturbing for some and be embraced by others.  Changes is not necessarily a bad thing.  The difficulty for many is that change typically represents a death of some kind.  Within the church, we should try to embrace this to some extent for after all, the major theme of our faith is about death and resurrection (which is about change).

The Scripture verse is Hebrews 13:8 that says, ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.’  This verse doesn’t seem to advocate change, however what it does is tell us is what is the most important thing.  Within the church, we know that Jesus doesn’t change, but the way that we worship, the way that we do ministry, the technology that we use may all change.  One theologian in ages past said the message doesn’t change but the way we proclaim the message may.

I saw this at the Automate show.  What was being displayed was new and innovative ways for businesses to operate but the core of the business doesn’t necessarily change.  

How do you deal with change?