Pastor Thomas Petersen

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever.” Heb. 13: 8

With the month of September, we will begin a new season: from summer to autumn. And with that comes changes in our schedules, interests and daily activities. Birthdays and anniversaries in this month remind us that none of us can turn back time–we are getting older. Families with children will experience the biggest changes in schedule as heading back to school will mean earlier bedtimes and more regimented days.

Daylight will be slowly but surely decreasing as we make our way toward the winter solstice. Temperatures will be changing as we adjust to what will be colder temps in the coming months. In this climate, we prepare for the changes we know are coming.

What nature teaches us is that we are always in transition and change. Seasons change, and we adjust. These are predictable changes each year. And then there are those changes in our lives that are not anticipated or expected. These are the ones that cause us angst and may cause us to question God’s love and care for us.

However, God’s Word reminds us “though heaven and earth pass away, my Word will never pass away.” Though there are many changes within “heaven and earth,” they are inevitable, and none of us can really prevent them. These are not within our control; but through faithful prayer, we can control our response and emotion to the unexpected changes by giving it to God.

God’s covenant and promises never change. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” God’s Word teaches us the age-old truth that human sin and rebellion alienate God and man as well as mankind with all creation. In our natural sin and rebellion against God, we are like leopards who cannot change the spots on our skin.

Addictive behaviors remind us of the truth that left to ourselves we will repeat the same behavior and be stuck in the same old cycle of regret and false hope. We long for change and talk about it but are not always sure how to bring it about.

As much as any of us may desire change for the better in our own lives and in the life of the world, the only positive and lasting change is the result of God’s unchanging grace. It is because of God’s purpose and power that we can experience the change of mind that we call “repentance.”

It is only because of God’s unchanging love and grace that we can experience the life-changing gift of faith–to believe that God is gracious toward us and that he won’t change on his promise to love us eternally. “I will never leave you nor forsake you” says the Lord. (Heb. 13)

You and I can meet the many changes of this season with the unchanging promise of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Even though we in our weakness might doubt God’s presence and power, it is truly inspiring and comforting to know that some things never change or that One thing will never change: God’s eternal love for you and me.

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever.”

In Christ,

Pastor Thomas Petersen

Thomas Petersen is pastor at Shepherd of the Lake in Garrison.

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