Something old and something new. It sounds like a line from an old adage referring to brides and weddings. I think that it refers to more than that. Our lives are filled with things that are old, and, if we are open to it, things that are new. Most of us don’t like change in our lives, but we know it is inevitable. As we grow our bodies change, we change jobs and houses. Some of these things we face with great excitement, looking forward to what the future brings. Other times we dread any change and just wish things would remain the same. Always. However, they don’t; they won’t.
When I was preparing to move here to St. Mary, Cause of Our Joy, in addition to the anticipation of becoming pastor, I had some concern, just a little, about the house. I was giving up a comfortable bed and room where I had lived contentedly for many years. Would all of my things fit? How much privacy would I have? I was moving to a new house that I didn’t even pick out for myself. Looking back, now they seem like silly concerns, but they were real ones, for sure. And it all turned out fine. God is good.
St. Mary Cause of Our Joy Parish is new. Just over 12 weeks new. Think of all of the new things that can lie ahead, the new experiences coming, the new friends to meet, the new ways of living our faith. There may be a little fear and anxiety in it, but in the long run we know that God is here and will take care of us. He has so far in our lives, right? If we continue to hold on to everything that “was” in the past, if we only want to “go back to this or to that,” there will be no room for freshness, for newness, for the Spirit to move. We will stifle the Spirit because we are holding on so tightly. Let go. Let’s not exhaust ourselves trying to replicate everything (or at least the “everything” that I want).
Pope Francis, during his visit to the United States a year ago this month, said “Jesus came to save us from the lie that says no one can change.” Yes, it may be tough, but you can. Trust God a little more and give it up to Him.
May the Spirit lead us in ways that we could never imagine.