There are two pillars in my life that have been constant from my very earliest memories onward: my family and the church. In fact, in most of my memories the two are inseparable. My parents met in a CYF group and the church has always been central to their lives. When I was growing up, there was never a question about whether or not we would go to church on Sunday. It was a given.
The family and the church are the two primary touch points of my life – and I know they are for many others. That is why changes in either can be so difficult. We remember how things were in the past and we want that to continue. We imagine how wonderful it would be if we could take a moment in time and just stay there. Loved ones would never die or move away. Nothing would ever change. But, of course, that is not only impossible, it would also be the opposite of the kind of life God desires for us.
Circumstances do change. People do die and move away. But children are also born. New friends are made. People are redeemed and God’s church is infused with new spirit and love.
This Sunday is our annual youth led worship service and senior recognition. It never fails to come as a surprise to many of us how fast our children have grown into young men and women. Youth Sunday is a very clear reminder of how quickly things change. For me personally, this couldn’t be truer. This year my youngest, Lauren, graduates from high school and begins her journey toward independence and adulthood. It is exciting and anxiety producing at the same time!
In a few weeks, we will be celebrating Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. On Pentecost Sunday we remember and celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. One of the primary purposes of the Holy Spirit was (and is) to lead God’s Church in new directions. The presence of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life or in a church’s life will automatically mean change and growth. That doesn’t mean that fundamental values are abandoned. It only means that God has never stopped working.
With God there is no such thing as graduation – or retirement! God continues to work in our lives as long as we are able to draw breath.
God is at work in your life right now. God is calling you to new ways of living, thinking, worshiping, and relating – whether you are 18 or 80. God has never stopped working in your family or in your church. The question is: have you?