Change is all around; can you feel it? The heavy and somber season of Lent has been replaced with the light and joy of Easter! More and more people throughout the country are getting vaccinated, which is allowing for glimmers of normalcy. It has been touching to read about the grandparents who are finally able to travel and visit their grandchildren, some for the first time. And, for many of us, springtime changes, the bursting forth of the beautiful trees and flowers, has meant always having a tissue box close at hand!
Change is always happening all around us… good change, fun change, painful change, unexpected change, unknown change. Sometimes, we are able to anticipate it before it happens, and other times, we are blindsided by it. Experiencing change is part of what it means to be human; however, how we adjust and adapt (or not) to change significantly impacts our overall health and wellbeing (as individuals, communities, and beyond).
I find that the fifty-day Eastertide season, in which, as I write this, we are on day six, is a wonderful time to reflect on the various changes that are taking place in our lives and how are we being moved to respond. This liturgical season is a reminder that, through Christ’s death and resurrection, our lives were, and are forever, changed. How do we adequately respond to this amazing good news?
In addition to reflecting on change and movement as it relates to Easter, Travis and I have been experiencing these themes physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as we packed up our belongings in Decatur, GA, at the end of February and moved to Murrysville, PA (20 miles east of Pittsburgh).
Leaving Decatur was bittersweet. It was the place where we had lived the longest as a married couple. It was there where Travis and I felt called by God to establish HSHC. It was there where we had established many wonderful relationships.
Yet, it was also there, after much prayer and discernment with others, that we felt God calling us to move to Murrysville, PA, so that Travis could become Newlonsburg Presbyterian Church’s next associate pastor and so that I could continue to develop and expand the outreach of HSHC.
In the midst of all of our recent changes and new beginnings, one of the scripture passages that helped us stay grounded (moving is stressful enough even without COVID… yikes!) is Hebrews 13:8: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” While we are starting to settle into our new home and community and are excited to be here, we are both a bit anxious as to how the next chapter of our lives is going to unfold. However, knowing the consistency of God’s love, in and through what Christ did for us, gives us great comfort.
During this season of new beginnings and change, we want to invite you to reflect on the following questions:
- How do you feel about change right now? Are you ready for it? Fearful of it? Exhausted by it? Something else?
- What does it mean to you that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever?
- “Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have—and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.” – James Belasco and Ralph Stayer, Flight of the Buffalo (1994) Do you agree or disagree with this quote? Why?
- Do you feel God calling you to make some sort of change (big or small)?
- Where do you find God in the midst of change?
Karen and Travis Webster