Pastor’s Corner — November 12, 2021

Today’s message is from Pastor Pam Sutherland of the St. Paul United Methodist Church & Fort Gibson United Methodist Church.

I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED CHANGE. Not the kind you get when you pay for something with cash, but the kind that brings something different into your life. I suppose that’s because I grew up in the Washington, D.C. suburbs near the Pentagon, Quantico Marine base, and Ft. Belvoir Army base. Our neighborhood was constantly changing as military families came for a couple years then left for another post. Each new season brought new friends from far away places to play with. There was always a sense of excitement when a new family moved in. Who were they? Where did they come from? How many children and what were their ages? It was hard, and often sad, to see some friends leave, but then exciting to learn who was coming.

I love the change in seasons too. Each season brings its own unique richness and beauty. I love the colors of fall when the sun hits the red, orange, and golden leaves and brings out their brilliance. I love those “perfect” days when it’s not too hot and not too cold to spend time outside. I love watching the first snowfall of winter, wrapping up in a blanket, sipping coffee and reading a good book. I love seeing the leaves pop out in the springtime and the dull, drab browns turn to lovely shades of green. I love hearing the “peepers” as they begin their nightly chorus from the creeks. I love summer with its rich greenery and wildflowers, the smell of freshly cut grass, and the dance of the fireflies.

I have always loved change. Change can bring adventure, beauty, and unique differences to enrich our lives. But change can also bring sadness and loss. Each season of our lives brings something new, whether good or bad. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says:

    “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”  

There have been changes in my life that I didn’t like, and still don’t like to this day. Changes that brought sadness and loss. The death of my husband. The death of my parents, the absence of chatter and laughter in the house that comes with an empty nest, just to name a few. In 1994 Patti Loveless had a song on the radio entitled: “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye?” The lyrics that stood out to me say:
“Life’s about changing nothing ever stays the same…it’s okay to hurt and it’s okay to cry…how can I help you to say goodbye?”

Just as the seasons in nature bring change, the seasons in our lives also bring change. Some seasons bring beauty, adventure, and new friends. Some seasons bring sadness and pain, and things that are hard to say “goodbye” to. One thing is sure, though:

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:23-23)

Whatever changes this season of life has brought and may still bring, I am thankful that God’s love for us never changes. Whatever this day brings, His mercies (tender compassion) toward us are renewed, and His faithfulness to us is great (abounds)! I am thankful that there is purpose in every changing season and that God helps me say goodbye, sometimes through the hurt and the tears, when change is hard. I am also thankful that each new season can bring its own unique joy and beauty when I choose to see it. When I choose to “see” Him in it.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Pam

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