They say that the one constant thing, in life, is that things change. While there are some among us who embrace and look forward to change, the experience for most of us is that change is a thing that is perceived as a loss… a thing missed… a thing to be grieved. And yet, life is in constant flux—God knows we’ve seen plenty of change in our lifetimes.
I joke about having been ordained the same year as the approval of the “new” prayerbook—which some of us persist in referring to as “the new prayerbook,” although it must surely be the only thing that is perceived as being new after it has been around some thirty years. I also joke about going to school “BC” (as in Before Computers), and the eyes of many glaze over in wonder about how one could have written such a thing as the General Ordination Exam before the advent of Microsoft Word.
This week’s lessons strike me as dealing with change in life. The disciples are going along, wondering about the grandeur of the Temple, and our Lord more or less tells them to enjoy it while they can. He warns them about chasing after things that seem to be messiah-like, but that (despite their allure) turn out to be mere false gods and empty promises. This is contrasted with the promise in Isaiah’s lesson, “Behold I (God) make all things new.”
What seems intriguing, in all this, is the reminder that it is God’s continuous activity to create and to re-create. In many circles these days, it is the fashion to debate about Creationism—did God create the world in seven days, or did He not—and it seems to me that we miss the really important point. God’s creativity did not cease on the first Sabbath day when he went over to the celestial kegerator to pull a draft and to rest from his labors.
God’s creativity is such that Creation itself is an ongoing act.
The closest we get to expressing this is the old hymn, “New every morning is the love our waking and uprising prove.”
Perhaps as we enter this time of year, we would do better to change our perspective. I, for one, am not into the celebration of things being frittered away! Would we not be much more graciously served by reminding ourselves of the promise, “Behold, I make all things new”?