There’s an old joke about how Lutherans (or really, any individual or group) handles change. “How many Lutherans does it take to change a lightbulb?”
“CHANGE! What do you mean ‘change’?”
We don’t like change. However we can never experience new beginnings or new life without also experiencing change. I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the last few weeks given all the changes that are going on in my life, the life of the congrega- tion, and in many of your lives.
My daughter accepted a job in North Carolina and will be moving out of our home for a new life with new beginnings in Ra- leigh.
We will bid farewell and Godspeed to Austen as he begins a new call to a congregation in Florida and anticipate new leader- ship of our music ministry at Our Savior.
Confirmation youth will be affirming their baptism and in so doing accept what it means to follow Christ as a disciple as they are led by the Spirit rather than simply being led by mom and dad to church on Sunday.
High school graduates will be saying goodbye to family and friends for the new beginnings of college or military service, and college graduates begin new lives as working adults.
Engaged couples begin new lives as husband and wife, husband and husband, or wife and wife.
With the birth or adoption of a child couples become first time parents and their lives are changed forever.
Retirement brings new beginnings and new questions, “What do I do now that will give my life meaning after so many years of working in my job?”
And of course, when a spouse or parent dies we struggle with the change of not having them in our lives and wonder how we can ever imagine a new life or new beginning that doesn’t include them in our lives.
Martin Luther once described these types of changes in our lives as “little deaths.” And that is what they are. The life lived prior to that moment of change has died. We can’t get that time and life back. Yet, as Easter people we also cling to the promise of new life on the other side of death the resurrection provides. Easter people believe death doesn’t have the last word. The God of life who raised Jesus from the dead does! And so no matter what changes we may experience, we Easter people ask the same question, “How do I love and serve my God who I’ve come to know in Jesus my Lord?” Jesus gave his disciples a simple commandment. Love one another. If we are constantly looking for ways to love one another, to love our neighbor, our co-workers, our colleagues, our roommates, and those in our sphere of life, we can be assured God will provide us not only with a new life, but one that is abundant and worth living. In this season of change may we all keep in mind we are Easter people who look for the new ways God is calling us to love one anoth- er on the other side life’s “little deaths.”