This morning I’d like to pick up on a question that emerged during a discussion about my Monday post, “A New Lord’s Prayer for Today.” A lot of people read the post, and a few even listened to my song (if you didn’t listen, I believe it’s worth taking another look).
At some point in one of the ongoing conversations somebody – a “friend of a friend” – wrote the following (my response follows):
- Reader: “I’m afraid I prefer the old version. We don’t always have to change everything, do we?”
- Derek: “Who’s changing anything? I don’t think you have to choose one over another – just enjoy the beauty of creativity and God’s Spirit – God is always making things new, giving us new insight, and teaching us new things! BTW, which of the old versions is your favorite? I think I love almost all of them…”
REFORMATION: The question, “We don’t always have to change everything, do we?” serves as a timely commentary on reformation, and one of the root misunderstandings when it comes to God’s ongoing initiatives in this world.
People become fearful when presented with the idea that what is comfortable to them isn’t the beginning and the end of all the truth about God. But the entire movement of reformation has always been about allowing the Holy Spirit to continue God’s delight at creation, new creation, recreation, and fresh expressions of the unchangeable fact of God’s love.
New expressions of God do not change the fact of God’s power, and love, and grace, and mercy, and God’s signal act of redemption through Jesus! Reformation simply – and continually – serves to reshape our understanding of how God’s truth is expressed; reformation extends our awareness of the reach of God’s ongoing work of salvation!
THE LORD’S PRAYER: My new song, for example, was not intended to replace any of the many amazing interpretations of the Lord’s Prayer. However, the Spirit of God worked newness in my heart, through my guitar strings, and out to our congregation via the message of my song, and now there is one more rich color in the stained-glass mosaic that brings truth and healing to people when the light of Christ shines through it.
“We don’t have to change everything, do we?” is the cry of a soul that loves the beauty of tradition, and enjoys the comfort of meeting God in the familiar. My invitation to that soul is not to change any of that faith and assurance… but, instead, to dare to make more room – room for God’s creative, sometimes uncomfortable, always beautiful, constantly surprising, initiatives of new life.
God is always making things new, giving us new insight, and teaching us new things! Dare to make more room!