“The only thing that is constant is change.” Heraclitus told us that back in the 500s B.C. In many ways that’s true. I used to teach kids in middle school. I see them ten years later and my hair is grayer and my waist is wider, but other than that, I look the same. They don’t. They have changed. Sometimes the change was so great from 6th grade to 8th grade. On a wider note, the seasons change. In some area of the world we have four seasons. In other areas, those seasons may be different, but the point is that things in life change. You probably aren’t driving the same car you did ten years ago, and if you are, the styles on the road have changed so much that your once brand new vehicle looks old in comparison.
As much as life changes, most of us would say that we don’t like change. We’re comfortable with the way things are. We fight change any way we can and yet, it’s a losing battle. As changes come, though, we accept, and begin to feel comfortable in the new reality. Then, we fight to hold onto the new reality, working against change at all costs. We fight the inevitable tide of change that Heraclitus noted way back in the fifth century B.C. While we have learned to live with change, we wonder if there isn’t something constant in life: something we can always depend on. The author of Hebrews reminds us of that one constant that Heraclitus could not have known. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
This is both comforting and alarming. As society changes, it would be nice if our religion kept up with the changes. Don’t you think that religion should embrace our changes and make us feel good about ourselves no matter what we, as a society, agree upon? So many different religions condemn people for their actions and don’t change with the times. The problem is that if we follow Christ we know that it’s not so much that we adhere to a religion as embrace a person. Jason Gray put it this way: “It’s gotta be more like, falling in love, than something to believe in.” As we embrace the person of Jesus Christ, we check changes in society with our relationship with Him. He gives us guidance on navigating the changes in society. That being said, He continues to maintain constant standards for behavior and doesn’t change His mind so that He can embrace society.
The comforting part of the truth that Jesus never changes is that He always loves us. There is nothing I can do to change that. I may turn away from Him and embrace some kind of sin. He continues to love me and draw me back to Him. He has always shown grace to His people from the beginning of time and His grace allows us to change to become more like Him. He shows mercy and forgiveness to all no matter how terrible the sin may be. You may think you’re a bad sinner, but are you an “actually nailed Jesus to the Cross” sinner? If so, His words haven’t changed: “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” And if you want to argue about how bad you are because you knew what you were doing, His words don’t change. His heart doesn’t change. He still extends grace and mercy to any who turn to Him. In a world of constant change, we serve a risen Savior who constantly loves us and provides a foundation that never changes.
Oh Lord, help me look to You as the world changes. Remind me that my job is to be conformed to Your will. Let my life be pleasing to You as I seek to grow in our relationship.