School starts next week. I can’t believe that I am writing that sentence in July.
I know all of the reasons why school starts as early as it does, and I am not trying to change the school year. But it still is hard for me to imagine that children are back in school this early. For all of my life, it was Labor Day that marked the end of summer. It has been difficult for me to adjust to this change.
I have to admit something to you: That is not the only change that has made my life a little more difficult. I remember declaring unequivocally that I would not use email. I said that I would not buy anything online. And I had no intention ever of sending text messages, much less owning a smartphone.
But I have entered the 21st century in spite of it all, sometimes kicking and screaming as I have been dragged by forces stronger than I am. I have to tell you this: I still would rather talk directly to you on the phone than to have the back and forth of texting. It takes less time and is far more efficient. But I do hear more from my sons now that I acknowledge and answer their texts.
Change is hard. Whether it is the change in styles of music, clothing or whatever the case may be, we find change to be difficult. And it seems to become increasingly more difficult as we age; we like things to remain as they always have.
And so today I have some good news for you: God does not change. The Lord himself said, “I do not change.” His name, sometimes pronounced Jehovah and at other times Yahweh, is derived from the phrase in Exodus 3, “I am who I am.” It could be translated, “I will continue to be what I always have been.”
In either case, the point of God’s name really is rather simple. He is faithful. He does not change. His nature has not changed. His laws have not changed. His word has not changed. Now, there will be times when the methods we use to declare God’s nature may change. Radio was once the cutting edge for sharing the gospel; then came television. Now there is the Internet and all of its amazing ways to communicate. I think God is pleased when we use whatever methods we have at our disposal to tell others about him.
But we must take care not to change the message itself. The gospel message really is quite simple: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” That message has been true all along. It has not changed. It will not change. And that is truly good news.
We can count on the Lord. He always is faithful.