Thought for the month

All Change!

I’ve been prompted to think about change, not just because our benefice is now in interregnum, but also it’s the time of year for changes with a new academic year getting underway and the turning of the seasons bringing distinctly autumnal weather – we’ll leave aside the political turmoil! We often find change challenging. We get used to relying on something, perhaps a house or a job or a relationship, but when something we thought was certain disappears or changes, perhaps through accident, a move, a death, a redundancy, it can really shake us and sometimes we have to re-evaluate, re-calibrate, perhaps even retrench.  

We don’t often notice, but change is inevitable and constant at every level - Our world spins through space, which brings seasonal and daily changes. On a large scale continents are drifting apart or coming together, mountains formed, seas deepen. On a tiny scale microscopic creatures live and die, colonies of bacteria or fungi thrive and multiply. Within our bodies, it’s not just the ageing process, but individual cells are dying or separating all the time, we bleed and heal. With every breath oxygen renews our bodies. We are changing all the time without thinking about or realising it. To live is to change.

Benjamin Franklin’s famous adage was “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. Well I think I disagree – taxation seems to be tweaked and changed by the Treasury all the time. And I’m not sure that from a Christian perspective, we can think of death as certain either. 

However, the Bible gives us the image of Jesus Christ as the cornerstone. He is the one solid, reliable, permanent thing which won’t flake away or crumble in an ever-changing world of changeable creatures, structures and systems. Jesus is a cornerstone to which we can tether ourselves. We can build on it as a foundation, and navigate by it as a lodestar. It can be a stable point, not just for our personal lives but for our communities too.

Although the cornerstone is constant, with Liz’s departure, we have lost an important support in our Christian community, and this means that we need to attend to its maintenance, and reconstruction to ensure its continued health and growth. This is a corporate work in which we all have a part to play, but our benefice is full of people with a wide variety of gifts and talents, and, working and growing together, we can ensure the health and fitness of our churches.

Change, even changes of which we have been fearful, often prove, eventually, to have been opportunities for growth and reinvigoration, I believe that this will be the case for our benefice interregnum too.

 

Eleanor Zuercher