We had a great vacation visiting our daughter who has been studying in Vietnam, but it is also good to be back home. I still am trying to power through the brain fog from jet lag, so if this column doesn't make complete sense, I apologize in advance. Most of the time, when I go on vacation, especially when I go to a different country, I find the experience changes me. Sometimes it changes me a little in how I view the world, but sometimes it changes me a lot. Visiting Hawaii, Vietnam, and Hong Kong for the first time allowed me to see three very different parts of our world. Seeing another country where the form of government is different or where the people have another set of historical roots that has shaped them, invites me to see where I live in new ways. It changes me.
Even being gone only two weeks, I find things have also changed when I came home. We lost one of our church members and an elder, Connie Overby. Many of us are grieving her loss. Scott Huie preached his last sermon on Sunday, and Alicia Taylor shared with us that she is resigning to do something else with her life. Those are also losses. Others of us are battling illnesses or have loved ones who are facing the loss of health. Again, that loss represents more change.
While we cannot live in a world without change, we can hold on to the things that remain constant throughout all the changes in life. This Sunday I will begin a series of messages focused on the last verse of 1 Corinthians 13 that says this: "Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." Faith, hope and love are three of the pillars we can hold on to when the changes of life feel overwhelming. Paul writes that these three "remain." In other words, they last forever. Today I invite you to hold on to the faith that is grounded in your relationship with God. This can give you the hope you need to go on because of God's love for you!
Prayer for Today
Loving God, life brings us so many changes. Some are good, but some are difficult. Yet, through all the changes of life, you have promised never to leave us alone and to fill us with hope. Give us the faith we need to live this and every day. We pray this in the strong name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.