Thursday, August 5, 2010


Who likes change? Change is dreaded by many people. There’s the familiar comment, “How many Lutherans does it take to change a light bulb?” The answer is: three. There is one to change the light bulb and two with shotguns to make sure there are no other changes.

However, we all experience change. It’s part of life. The seasons change. We’re all used to that. If we have children, they change. If we have spouses, they change. We can make a long list of the changes that occur all the time.

Yet, many of us don’t like change. So what does that have to do with our faith? What does change have to do with our relationship with God, through Jesus Christ?

There are two realities that we acknowledge. They are opposed to one another. We recognize that Jesus accepts us just the way we are. Yet, Jesus, out of love, desires to transform us. Spiritually this begins at baptism when, through the waters of baptism, we die a death like Christ and are raised to a new life in Christ. We are transformed because, through baptism, it is no longer we who live, but it is Christ who lives within us. Now, that is change at the highest level. It is a spiritual change. However, we are still human. When we are baptized we still have what is called the ego. We still have our human frailties and human imperfections. Although, spiritually we may desire to be transformed with the power of Christ within us, our humanness wants to remain the way we are. Our humanness knows what we can expect when we are in control of our lives. We don’t know what to expect otherwise.

Let’s look at another concept. One of Jesus’ imperatives is to “repent.” It comes from the Greek word, “metanoia.” That Greek word is a combination of “after” and “think.” Combining the two words into the word “metanoia,” means that we think differently.

Another way to look at it is that Jesus calls us to change our way of thinking about ninety degrees. Three of Jesus’ imperatives are very powerful for this way of changing. He says that we need to die in order to live. We need to pick up our cross and follow him. We need to lose our life for the sake of the gospel and for his sake. Those are transformational challenges that are virtually impossible to do without the power of the Holy Spirit to guide and lead us.

What Jesus is asking us to do is to think and focus on him, not on us. Jesus is asking us to realize that life is about God, not about us. Jesus is asking us to think outward rather than inward on ourselves. That’s what is involved in living the Christian life. That is what is involved when we commit ourselves to discipleship.

Now that’s change.

No comments:

Post a Comment