Do you remember the Brady Bunch singing “Time To Change”? (Ok, for some of you it may be before your time.) Some of the lyrics from the song go like this:
“Autumn turns to winter, And winter turns to spring.
It doesn’t go just for seasons you know, it goes for everything.
When it’s time to change, you’ve got to rearrange,
Who you are and what you’re gonna be.
Sha na na na na na na na na, Sha na na na na…
Day by day you’re facing the changes you’ve been through,
A little bit of living, a little bit of growing all adds up to you.
And if you want to reach your destiny,
Then here’s what you can do.
It is the Advent season, a time of change, a time of preparation, a time of transformation, a time of hope. When God comes to us in any meaningful sense, things happen. The world we know and our image of ourselves – all of this must be transformed. God intervenes not to help us with our lives but to remake them.
This is what happened to our world when God sent Jesus to be among us. However, the beginning of the gospel is not the birth of Jesus but of John the Baptist, who called Israel to prepare for their longed-for deliverance by repenting and seeking God’s forgiveness. In the power of the Holy Spirit, Christian believers continue to prepare for the Lord’s coming by striving to be “pure and blameless in the Day of Christ” (Philippians 1:10). To know God is to
repent, to have our minds hearts and lives changed.
John the Baptist tells us that we must repent and change our lives. We cannot remain the same but must seek to grow and be transformed and become closer to God through a stronger faith. If we want to reach our destiny, this is what we need to do.
You see, it turns out that God has a job for us to do. We must become the people God created us to be. God not only commands our repentance, but God also came among us to bring it about.
God has also been present among us in other ways. Change is not always easy but many times through change we can grow. January 1 there will be some changes for Fennimore UMC. The Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church is realigning our churches based upon location and school districts, thus Fennimore and Stitzer will become a two-point charge. I will be serving both churches and we will also have an Associate Pastor appointed by the Conference who will begin serving also January 1.
This is a work in progress and the leaders of both churches have been meeting and will continue to meet as we work toward how we can be in ministry together. It is an exciting time and there is no doubt that God is at work. What can you do? Pray for God’s guidance and pray for the Good News to continue to transform us and our communities.