Change, Crisis, and Calling
Change is one of life’s experiences. It may cause us to feel discomfort because we have to adjust to it by moving out of our comfort zone or complacency. Sometimes it may cause us to feel a perceived crisis with fear, anxiety, and uncertainty about an unknown future.
“What is God’s calling in times of change in life?” is a question we ponder that leads us to a crisis of belief, a turning point where we must view the change in light of God’s promise of presence and power, and we must respond to it with faith and trust.
We read ancient stories in the Bible about people who faced changes in life resulting in a crisis of belief that led them to respond to God. God called Abram to leave his country, his people, and his father’s household and go to the land God would show him. (Genesis 12). God called Moses to leave his comfortable life of shepherding and to confront Pharaoh to let his people go (Exodus 3). God called Jonah to go to Nineveh and confront the people to repent of their sins. Jesus called Peter to follow him leaving his fishing job. They faced a change in life and a crisis of belief. They responded to it with faith and trust. And God’s purpose and goal were accomplished through them.
We are facing changes nationally as well as globally. We are facing change in the UMC waiting for General Conference in May, 2020, still uncertain, walking in the wilderness. We are facing changes in our church --- ministerial focus on discerning the will of God, growing through discipleship, staff reconfiguration, change of ministerial structure. What is God’s calling in times of these changes around us?
The good news in this season of Advent and Christmas is this: God the Father changed his salvation plan to be Incarnated, God put on the human form of a baby, the Christ Child and took up the sins of the world to save, to be Immanuel, God is with us, almighty God who is leading us through changes and crises with hope, joy, peace, and love. Prophet Isaiah envisioned him to be a “wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Advent invites us to repent, to meditating on what God says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” The Lord is coming and preparing the way by living in the Light and the Truth, with trust, faith, and waiting patiently. In the promise of God’s presence and power.
Merry and blessed Advent/ Christmas.