Change is funny. Well, not really funny but kinda. It’s actually us that are funny. We want change but we generally don’t like it. We’ll say things like “I need to get in better shape”, followed by “but this pizza tastes so good.” See what I mean. Funny!
Sometimes change is “thrust” upon us. Generally speaking we probably struggle with that kind most because it wasn’t “our” idea, and yet if it’s necessary we need to value it. Before becoming a pastor I worked in the healthcare industry and did marketing and admissions for a short term care facility. Many times people would have to come in and rehab because of something ongoing that could have and should have changed earlier but they didn’t. If I remember correctly it was people who had heart attacks that so often had to change their diet, low sodium, etc. The new “lifestyle and diet” was thrust upon them instead of choosing to change and do what needed to be done. But it’s so easy to put it off.
In Mark 2 we see Jesus addressing change. Here’s His take:
18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, “How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?”
19 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. 20 But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.
21 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. 22 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”
Jesus addresses the question of His disciples fasting with a declaration that I don’t think John’s disciples necessarily understood. “Why would they fast while I’m here?” This is a time of celebration because of the fulfillment of messianic prophecies. They were in a time of change. Then Jesus makes a similar point with the cloth and the wineskins. Basically saying, you can’t mix the old “religion” with the new “covenant” and if you try, it ruins the old wineskins. New wineskins for new wine.
The word the Lord is speaking to me is; “If you want a new filling Patrick, you have to have a change in the vessel.” Here’s the thing…I want God to do a new work in me and continue to change me. We were never meant to live on one place of change, change is meant to be continual to keep in step with the Holy Spirit. As a church we have to continue to allow the Holy Spirit to shape, mold and change us so we can be as effective as possible in reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So then the question comes back to us, do we want to “get in shape” more than we want the pizza? Change will cost us, but it is good and it is exactly what God is speaking to us.
How are you doing with this? I’d love to hear.