Isaiah 42:5-10 (NRSV)

5 Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it:

6 I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a a light to the nations, 
7 to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.
8 I am the Lord, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols.
9 See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them.
10 Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth! Let the sea roar b and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants.

Philippians 3:14 (NRSV)

14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly a call of God in Christ Jesus.                            

DEVOTION –  Pat Watson (Texas)

As our music group, Joyful Noise, began practicing a new song, I could not seem to get the correct rhythm.  With a degree in music education, I rarely have problems reading music.  Why now?  Reading the words, I realized the words, I realized that the new song was actually an old one.  In the new version, however, the words were set to a syncopated rhythm rather than the familiar, simple 4/4 beat I had played for years.  Even though I could read the music, I kept slipping back into the familiar beat.

This experience reminded me how difficult change can be.  Our church is currently experiencing change as our much-loved pastor of eight years assumes responsibility for a new congregation and we prepare to welcome a  new pastor.  Although we want to hold on to what we know and love, we need to open our hearts to what God has in store for us.  In his final sermon to our congregation, our pastor, admonished us to press on.  We honor him and our Lord as we press on under new leadership.

The only constant any of us has is the promise that “Jesus Christ is the is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8, NIV).  Circumstances may change, but Christ’s message remains the same.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God will lead us through changing seasons.

PRAYER: Dear God, help us to release the past and to go forth in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: CHURCHES FACING CHANGE

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