“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”
— Hebrews 13:8
One recent morning the gate was left open and our goat quickly made his escape but stopped after going about 10 feet.
He sniffed the ground and began eating weeds as quickly as he could.
Now these were the same weeds he has in his yard and yet these weeds were more desirable because they were outside his yard. A change of location made all the difference.
All around us are constant changes, both good and bad. With each change we have a decision to make if we are going to accept or reject it. For example, beginning with this column I am making changes to adapt it to the new format of the newspaper. I for one like the new changes in the Sun although I wish it still came out twice a week.
Not everyone is ready for changes, especially when it comes to how things are done in the church. I’ve often heard people say, “We have always done it this way or we have never done it that way before.” After some resistance these people went along with the change and in some instances even enjoyed the new way of doing things.
This summer, our church tried something new. We moved our evening services to the park. This was a big undertaking as tables, sound equipment, keyboard and chairs were loaded up and moved each week. It took the cooperation of dozens of people to make it work, but the effort was well worth it as we experienced larger Sunday night crowds.
Even getting rained out one week didn’t dampen people’s spirits. On the last evening, there was some sadness to return to our old schedule. What began as the dream of one person was transformed into a wonderful experience. The change was worth it.
In many of our churches, new things are tried to encourage people to attend. In some churches, there are more praise choruses sung instead of the old hymns to attract a younger crowd. While I love many of the old standard hymns, there are some wonderful praise choruses as well.
To change or not to change is the question we must answer for ourselves. I believe that is why we have different denominations and different ways of doing things.
I respect those churches that believe it is important for our voices to worship God without the distraction of musical instruments. I also respect those congregations that still love the traditional sound of an organ and the old beloved hymns sung for generations. There is also a place to praise God through choruses accompanied by guitars, keyboards, and drums. Each has its own place and each reaches different types of people.
While we can change our churches in location and types of music, it is important to never change the message that Jesus Christ provides salvation for all who accept him. Jesus never changes.
Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org