Change is hard. People don’t like change. People don’t want to change their lives. People don’t want to change their actions. People don’t want to change really anything about themselves. We like to be comfortable and safe. We like things to run just the way they have because we know what to expect. The only time people like change is they are the one making the changes. I had a friend who used to say “I like change as long as I am the one making the changes.”
Change is something we don’t like but is a part of life as a disciple. Thank God it is. I am struck by how when change happens to me I really don’t like it. Change is hard and painful but often necessary. I struggle with change because I am messy. My relationship with Jesus is messy. You see I don’t always like to look in the mirror and see the changes that need to be made. I struggle with the changed life in Jesus. It isn’t a strait line with a definite end point. It has a beginning in baptism, it has and end in Death but the middle is messy. I think it is why we get so angry with our faith because we want everything to be better and easy. Our sinful nature in all of us is a twisty road, and just when we think we get the hang of it we take another turn, we are reminded of more change needed in our lives and the need for Christ’s grace.
This weekend as I sat and participated in Easter services I thought about change. I thought about the changes in my life. I think about people who come in and out of it. I thought about my faith life and how the resurrection of Jesus really impacted me. How Jesus came to change the equation, how He came to change me. You see when I see the cross and empty tomb I think about how Jesus came to forgive me and to change me. To take me from my original place and move me to another place. A place of change. A place where I have to look in a mirror and know I am a broken man, yet I have a risen savior who is changing my life. Not just saving me, but changing my life.
The cross brings change. The resurrection brings change. Many people get angry at Church, Church workers, faithful people, and family because they remind us of our need for Jesus. They point us to a Jesus who didn’t come to keep the status quo in our lives, but to bring change. The cross and resurrection brought about the greatest change. It brought you who were dead into a new life, but the change didn’t stop there. The spirit continues to work on you and me.
Change is a struggle but it is part of being a Disciple of Christ. So when you are feeling that frustration with the change look to the cross and empty tomb, and the change it brought for you. That change from being away from God to being with God in Christ Jesus.
Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Romans 7:16-25a ESV