With time comes change. That is true in this part of Ohio. It has changed. It has changed from when it was first settled. It has changed during your lifetime. Buildings have changed. Industries have come and gone. We resist change. Change makes us uneasy. We want something we can count on, something permanent.
But that is life. Things keep changing. They get older. They deteriorate. They go away. The things you liked or things that you trusted have changed.
We can see some very old things. There is the sun. It has come up every morning and gone down every night throughout recorded history. The moon has appeared in its various phases on a regular schedule that is predictable. The stars appear every night in the sky.
You see the same earth, the same hills, and the same mountains and the same lakes that previous generations saw. People have walked on the same land that we now walk on. It is not unusual to see historical markers showing what happened in a certain place years ago.
These things are old – hundreds of years, even thousands of years old. Most of them look pretty much the same as they did long ago.
And still there have been changes. The land that has always been here has not always been put to the same use. Where buildings now stand could have been a field of corn or a forest. There have been floods, fires and earthquakes in some places. Rivers have changed their course. If you want to study some ancient civilization, you will have to do a lot of digging because it has been covered up in the course of time by layers of dirt and rubble.
One of the frightening things in life is that things change. A husband and wife may love each other and be married for 70 or more years, but not forever, only “unto death do us part.” Life on earth is always uncertain. Death often comes unexpectedly and it will eventually come to every one of us.
You can’t stop time and you can’t stop the changes that come with it. People don’t like to think that they are getting older. Some will even lie about their age. People try to exercise and eat right so they can stay young. The cosmetic industry is thriving because people don’t want to look as old as they really are. But it is a losing battle. You can’t stop time and you cannot prevent its consequences.
Even if it appears to be no change, we know that eventually everything will change. Someday everything will end. Even those who do not believe the Bible have theories about how things will end.
This can be extremely depressing, until you realize that there is something permanent – that always was and always will be, that does not change. It is good to hear about something permanent. It assures us that there is something that we want that stays the same no matter how many other changes there are.
We find that permanence in God. God doesn’t change no matter how much time passes and no matter how much other things may change. God is permanent. He does not change or come to an end.
Where did God come from? When did he come into existence? The Bible tells us that God was already there when the universe came into existence. As a matter of fact, God made the universe.
God is permanent. He had no beginning. He also will have no end. And there is no change in God. The passing of time makes no difference to him.
God is unique, and everyone who recognizes it is going to be in awe of God. But that is not going to make much difference in our own situation. What we desperately want is permanence for ourselves. We don’t want just to grow older and eventually pass out of existence. We want to continue. And that is what God has for his people. We are going to continue.
Who are God’s people? Something happened to the world after God created it. People went against God. They followed their own thinking. The perfect creation was ruined. That is why things are the way they are now. That is why things change and decay. That is why they will eventually come to an end. That is why we are going to die.
But God did not abandon the world. He sent Jesus into the world. He paid for the sins of the world and those who believe what Jesus did for them will have a new perfect life in heaven that will not end.
There may have been many changes in your life. But God always has and always will be the same.
(Pastor Marc Frey is the pastor at Peace of Our Savior Lutheran Church and Preschool (WELS) New Carlisle, OH www.peaceofoursavior.net)