Friday, April 24, 2015
Are you familiar with the Greek philosopher Heraclitus? His most famous line, “Nothing endures but change” led to the observation that you can’t step into the same river twice! The point is that by the time you have stepped into the river, stepped out of it, and stepped back into it again, the river is very different.
Alfred North Whitehead, took the words of Heraclitus and updated them by saying, “not only is the river different, but every human being is changing physiologically, biologically, and even chemically in a sense, every moment”. In other words, everything and everybody changes. Some changes are welcomed, some are not. Some are well planned, some are surprises. Some you can spot a mile away, and others sneak up on you.
Think about all the changes in your life. You are not the person you were 20 years ago, or even ten, or even yesterday. We are one big, amazing collage, mysteriously painted by colors of change.
As you know, I will be going through a number of changes as I retire from Sardis, a place that I have called home since 1988. For over forty two years I have been pastor of a church. All that is about to change as we move to Princeton, New Jersey.
In one way or another, my leaving Sardis will also change your life. This change will be good, I am sure. The change will give this great congregation a unique opportunity to chart a vision for a new day at Sardis. What could be more exciting as you celebrate the past but dream and reach for tomorrow? Oh, just think of the wonderful changes we both will experience as God guides us into unknown territory. It can be a bit scary, but as the old saying goes, “we do not know what the future holds, but we know the one who holds the future!” Thanks be to God for we are assured by scripture that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8 NRSV)