Pastoral Letter | The Unchanging God
Dearest Members and Friends of Christ Church,
The world has been turned upside down. Fear and anxiety are escalating. New restrictions are being placed upon us. Indeed, to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, this morning Governor McMaster recommended that no more than three should gather together at this time. All of this is very strange and unsettling, and reminds us of how quickly life can change.
Throughout history the Church has faced numerous challenges, changes, and upheavals to ordinary life. We spoke about this in family worship last night with the kids. Think, for example, of the numerous plagues that have devastated the world. Or consider periods of state-sponsored persecution of the church. They have, at times, been fierce and extensive. And what about the great wars? The Thirty-Years War (1618-1648), the Civil War, the world wars of the twentieth century, to name just a few, have fostered profound disruption to normal life for Christian believers. Yes, history is full of change; sometimes dramatic change.
A profound comfort for every believer in the midst of unsettling change, however, is that the Lord does not change (Mal. 3:6; Jam. 1:17). Our immutable and omnipotent God is on His sovereign throne. The writer to the Hebrews reveals that our Lord “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever”, and “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to [him].” (Heb. 13:8; Mt. 28:18). God does not change, nor do his great and precious promises in the Gospel. His steadfast love and mercy endure forever for those who are united to Christ, by grace through faith.
Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ: pandemics, wars, and persecutions create massive change in the world. The effects can, at times, be calamitous to our earthly lives. Even so, like Christians who have endured these trials and changes in the past, we persevere in the Lord. We do not despair or lose hope. We, by grace, trust in the Lord, no matter what new challenges we may face. We worship and give thanks to the Lord no matter what changes might come in the future. The God who plans the future promises to meet us there. God never breaks or forgets his promises to us or to our children (Acts 2:39). Nothing can separate us from God’s love— the love that sent Jesus from heaven to earth to the cross (Rom. 8:31-39). Christ Church, let that sink in for a moment. All the change in the world — change which is a part of divine providence — cannot cut us off from sweet communion with our blessed triune God.
Therefore, dear child of God; “be still”, and know that God is the God who does not change. His grace is sufficient. His promises are unshakable (Ps. 46:10). He alone is our “refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1). Call upon him today. Rest in his grace. Trust in his promises. God is with you. He is in the midst of his people. You have nothing to fear