Devotional: April 27th
Kurt Lewin once said, "If you want truly to understand something, try to change it." That works in many areas. As a NASCAR fan I wondered along with everyone else what the head honchos thought they were doing when they put in the "Chase for the Race" or "Race for the Cup" or "My Cup Runneth Over" or whatever they called their season ending blitz of twenty races which focused on the top ten drivers. But I now understand NASCAR a lot better than I ever did even though I had nothing to do with the changes.
However, there are two areas of life that Lewin's adage doesn't affect. One is women. I have been married for more than thirty-three years and I still struggle with understanding my wife and even moreso when I have thought to change her. (yeah, I know, if I fell in love with her in the first place why would I want to change her) The other area is the church; not the message but the protocol.
"We've never done it that way before," never gets as much air time as in a church when change is advocated. From programming changes to the most sacrisanct of all, the position of the communion service in morning worship, change is never accomplished easily. One modern wag was heard to comment that "the church will be dragged kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century."
My stand is that change is a standard part of the church. When we become a Christian we change. When we begin a regimen of Bible study (what's that? you haven't started studying the Bible?) we change. Even the practice of attending worship services is a matter of change. So why do we resist the changes that often result in serving God more practically?
We lose our rhythm. To paraphrase the apostle Paul, "Let all things be done decently and in order and the same way every Sunday so I don't have to learn anything new." I wonder how Paul would react to a worldwide web and praise and worship music? He'd probably still be dumbfounded by telephones and cars and might even see our hymns as a bit stodgy. But how would he see the changes made in the church since the first century?
The early church practiced a refined communism. However, the biggest change is in the area of regular contact. "So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church every day those who being saved." Acts 2:46, 47 Maybe we're making the wrong changes.
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