“Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not, as thou hast been, thou forever wilt be.” is a tremendous stanza from one of America’s most loved hymns. The depth and breadth of Great is Thy Faithfulness is profound.
During this holiday season my thinking is deeply connected, however, to that part of God that changes. The idea in Malachi 3:6, “I am the Lord. I change not.” surely doesn’t mean that God never changes anything about himself. It is easy for me to understand that God’s nature and character do not change. He is, in that way, immutable.
Even without much thought, a beginning reader of the Bible can understand that the birth of Jesus changed everything. God was pleased with law until the Baby was born and then He was pleased with grace. He was pleased with the Former Covenant until Bethlehem’s Baby and now He is pleased with the New Covenant.
The notion of God changing totally interrupts some of my friends sense of well being. Their theology requires a God for whom nothing is old and nothing is new. For them God is always in the eternal now. That’s cool, if you are God, but it isn’t too helpful to all of creation that has a past, present, and future. Could you imagine going to God in prayer, “Lord, I am struggling with this need in my life to change.” “Sorry dear child, I don’t know anything about change. I am God. I have never faced nor experienced change. Maybe someone else can help you.” NOT!
I find the changes that God makes very refreshing.
“Re” is a prefix, taken from Latin, that, in one of it’s uses, means again. Much of God’s change action in our lives is linked to things He does again. This is Good News! God, who knows how to adapt and change, is involved and leading the change initiatives of our lives. In my teaching series this month I have selected five changes available to you and me through the birth of this Baby who changes everything.
All five of these changes are in the foundation of life’s most significant change; that of being reborn. Our MCA Church Christmas series will feature one of these “agains” each week. hang out with us this Christmas and you just might discover that God is making you fresh again or that He is calibrating your life again or placing you in a marvelous family again.
Let’s celebrate the new work of God that commenced at the birth of The Baby.