Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:17
Change can be good, but it is hard. Trying new things can be exciting, but it is hard. Staying with the familiar is comfortable and easy...even if it's ridiculous. We heard this funny story in church recently. Our pastor swears it's true!
In the dead of winter, a new pastor was called to serve an old country church. When the service began on his first Sunday there, the entire congregation was seated on the lectern side of the sanctuary. Strangely, when the second hymn began, the entire congregation rose, hymnals in hand, and moved as one body to the pulpit side of the church. When the pastor climbed the steps to the pulpit, the congregation moved away from him, back to their original seats. The pastor was confounded, but said nothing. This same strange practice continued every Sunday for the rest of the month: as soon as the pastor announced the second hymn, the congregation moved from one side of the church to the other. As he prepared for the sermon, they moved back. Finally, after watching this strange activity for the third Sunday in a row, the pastor approached the president of council. He very politely asked him, “Why does the congregation move from one side of the church to the other and then back again during the service?” The council president explained, “Back in the 1890s, when this building was erected, its heating system was very difficult to regulate. At the beginning of the service, everyone sat near the stove in order to stay warm. However, about 20 minutes into each service, that side of the sanctuary would become too hot. So, the congregation would move to the other side..and then back again as the coal eventually lost its heat.” “But...but...” stuttered the confused pastor. “That was over a hundred years ago! The heating system has been replaced since then. The whole church building is warm enough all the time now. Why does the congregation still move during the service?” “Why?” repeated the confused parishioner. “Because we're good church-goers. We've always done it that way!” -Christine Conz Moll, former Mount Luther camper
Closing: Discuss with others the following exchange
Q: How many church-goers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: One to actually change the bulb, and nine to say how much they liked the old one.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to accept change. Remind us that “We've always done it that way!” is not necessarily a reason to keep doing so. Encourage us to continue to move forward, to try new things, and to let go of what holds us back. Amen.
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