The look on his face was a picture. We spent last night in a hotel, and this morning, the boys were up watching telly bright and early. Bob the Builder came on. But not just any old Bob; this was the new-fangled, decidedly less tubby, joined by new characters, and with a heavily-made-up Wendy, Bob the Builder. Joshua, our eight year old, looked positively disgusted. ‘This isn’t Bob’, he declared.
I’m not a fan of change, either. Whether it’s chosen or forced upon us, change is something I don’t find easy. Sure, there are some changes that I like. A new toothbrush is always a bit of a treat, a haircut’s good (although I get a little confused when I can’t successfully run my fingers through my hair), and there’s something deeply satisfying about discovering a new chocolate bar. But mundane changes don’t have much power. Friends on facebook may recall my recent foray into a new range of shower gels. The first one made me feel like I was washing in Lemsip (and no, it didn’t clear my nasal passages at all). But changes like that can be undone. I can revert to an old faithful shower gel, and Joshua could resolve only to watch old Bob the Builder episodes. But some changes demand much more of us. Some changes are harder to undo.
And as I’ve been thinking about changes recently, I’ve been reminded of that sentence that is sometimes used at the end of (possibly only Anglican…) church services. “Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord…”
The church service is somewhere where we should feel ‘at home’, somewhere where we are together with ‘family’. But between church services, there are things that won’t always be easy (not that church is always easy either, but that’s for another blog post!). And that phrase, ‘Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord’, well, that feels a bit like a timely reminder at the end of that family time together. The stuff that’s happened in church, and most importantly God, the focus of our worship and lives, that won’t change. He won’t change. And so we can go in peace. Not a peace that blindly ignores that challenges and trials ahead, nor hides from the change that may or may not be round the corner, but a peace that rests in the unchanging One. A peace that relies not on where we are, but on who we are with.
If you know someone who’s facing change, or who is about to, why not drop them a line now and encourage them?