I sat down to write this end of term blog with slight sense of disbelief at the pace at which we have arrived here and that I have now completed my first academic year as Chaplain. I’m sure as parents you must be feeling the same, as your children move up yet another year in school. Or graduate from prep school to senior school. Or perhaps you’re at the stage that you are about to wave them off to university and you’re not sure where the time went from dropping them off on that first day, to now, when we all wait expectantly for results and look to the future that they might bring.
Endings are a strange business and change, whether perceived as bad or good, can be a challenge. As we say goodbye to valued colleagues who are starting new adventures and pupils who will move on to find all that life has to offer them, there is a constant ebb and flow in the life of the school that causes one to reflect.
The Bible states in Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” When I profess to serve an unchanging God how do I navigate change myself and therefore help others to walk through it? I came across an article by Manuel Luz, who encourages us to think about the theology of Change. In it he highlights that fact that God is unchanging in character and love. He is also omnipresent allowing Him to be present in every moment, at all times for all people. “So to say that God is unchanging is not at all to imply that He is static. For He is forever our contemporary, forever in the present moment.” Luz, M. (2015) God is a god who has designed us for change we are time dependent, living in the context of seasons, in nature and in life. Change is a natural possibly even essential part of life.
In conclusion, Luz encourages us not to be afraid of change “So we shouldn’t be afraid of change when it comes—because we not only know change is unavoidable, it is the nature of God to work in the midst of change.”
Listening to several talks and illustrations in order to prepare for an assembly on the question of faith I saw it well explained with a person who was blindfolded being verbally guided to a chair that they did not know was there and asked to sit down. The person who couldn’t see having to place complete trust in the one who could. Faith in an unchanging, trustworthy, omnipresent God means not being able to see, but trusting in the one who can; the one who sees the past present and future the one who has the bigger picture.
So how do we navigate change?
Expect it, embrace it and don’t fear it by trusting a God who loves you and has plans to prosper you and give you a hope and future and calls you to live life and life to the full. (Jeremiah 29:11 and John 10:10)
Almighty God, to know you are unchanging gives me peace in a frighteningly changing world. Would you bless all those who are leaving us to start new adventures and would you help us all to live life to full just as Jesus came to give.
Have a blessed and enjoyable summer and I hope all return refreshed in September