Each person in the group gathered at the Corner Donut Shop was saying a few words about herself/himself. Jensi’s great-aunt Elizabeth, in her seventies and a lifelong Lutheran, said the following.
“Many things have changed during my life. When I was born, only men could be pastors; now women are ordained, too. I’ve seen four primary books of worship: black, red, green, and now a different shade of red! We used to roll our eyes about homosexuals, now we embrace gay marriage and ordination of gays. When I was growing up, there was no one in our neighborhood with a skin color other than white; now there’s a rainbow of colors. And Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs were just words in a book; now there is a mosque in our town; a Hindu temple in a neighboring county; and the most popular pediatrician in our area is a Sikh.
“Those are just a few of the changes in my lifetime; church and society are both very different from when I was a child. I didn’t always take well to these changes. Some of them I angrily fought against. I wanted to keep everything just the way it was.
“But then someone wisely said to me, ‘Sometimes it’s the Holy Spirit who is working the change.’ And I recalled that the night before Jesus died, he said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, . . . he will declare to you the things that are to come.” (John 16:12-13)
“So over the years, I’ve come to look at things in a new way. I still have trouble with change. And it’s not always easy to accept people are who different. I continue to struggle with that, and I don’t always succeed. But I keep working at it. I think it’s what Jesus wants us to do.”
God of our changing world, enlighten us with your Spirit, and give us courage to face new times with courage and faith. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen