Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
I had (and still do have) a real hard time when our local Food Lion went under a huge renovation early last fall. I loved my Food Lion – I knew where everything – I mean everything – was. If I had to run in quick to get something, I went right to it. But then the remodel came – and nothing is where it used to be. I must admit it’s now a bigger store, the lighting is better, the aisles are wider, there is an expanded health and beauty department, and there’s even a produce cooler. When I voiced my angst to my husband Eric that I can’t find anything (Eric was in charge of the Food Lion remodels in Central Virginia by the way), he said “I’m sorry we have upset you at the cost of improving the overall store.” Everything that was familiar is no longer.
Familiarity – there is profound meaning there. Familiarity helps us feel safe and secure; it helps us focus on other things. When we come to worship on Sunday morning we are comforted with the liturgy we say, the hymns we sing, the prayers that are read – and yes, the pew we sit in. We had someone visit Trinity from Texas a few weeks ago and she found great comfort in our liturgy as it was similar to the liturgy in her United Methodist Church back in Texas.
Where will you find familiarity this Lenten season? Through the reading of the sacred scriptures? Through the special services that mark Holy Week? Through the singing of Lenten hymns? Perhaps you will find familiarity by continuing to extend ministry to the places you serve – Oak Grove, Tuckahoe Middle School, Sherbourne Food Pantry, CrossOver Clinic.
The familiar brings comfort – brings validation – reminds us who and Whose we are.
Thanks be to God for the familiar rhythms of life – for the constancy of our God.