We’re in the middle of moving house. Our home in Essex is rapidly resembling a complex box fort and the church I am now serving (Mutley Baptist Church) is about to assume ownership of the house we will occupy once our box fort is transferred to Devon.
It’s a period of time that carries lots of emotion with it. Change almost always does because we are emotional beings and form attachments to things, places, people, times, experiences and much more beyond. When change happens, some of those will remain the same, but others will be different. Our love for family and friends does not change, but geography will make the relationships different.
In the hymn ‘Abide with me’ (sung each year at the FA Cup Final) there’s a line: “Change and decay in all around I see: O Thou who changest not abide with me.” I want to take issue with the association of change and decay, because although change may not be easy, it is not always bad. ‘Entropy’ is not inevitable. Even in the midst of sadness, loss and loneliness we can find positives: we experience those emotions because we are / were loved; no longer being in a particular place may leave us with a lump in our throat because of the memories we associate with that place, but there will be opportunities to create new wonderful memories in the new place. You see what I am saying, I hope. If we look for them there are positives, even in the most difficult of change.
And that brings me to the second part of that line from ‘Abide with me’. God’s constancy is a comfort in a changing world. And he’s not distant from us, he ‘abides’ with us if we ask him to. That’s an intimate relationship, dwelling in the same space, feeling the same feelings, hoping the same hopes…
Be blessed, be a blessing