Monday, July 12, 2010

Spare Some Change?

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever." Isaiah 40:8
I've been meditating a lot lately on the concept of an unchanging God. God is the same now as he always has been and always will be. He is infinite, experiencing all past, present, and future in one glorious eternal moment. God doesn't change.

But we do.

We are finite creatures. We exist inside of time and space. While God sees all eternity laid out before him, we can only experience the tiniest possible fraction of that eternity at once. We can remember the past, and have expectations of the future, but even the past and future within our own lives is the barest portion of the fullness of God. Nobody looks at two separate pieces of the same puzzle and thinks the whole picture has changed. We cannot look at this moment in our existence and say "THIS is the true nature of God, and the only right way to understand Him." He is far too great for that.

All too often, people perpetuate traditions and habits, and when experience challenges or contradicts these traditions and habits, they refute them with a trite "God doesn't change." Using the immutability of God as an excuse for our own reluctance to accept change is just stubbornness. We were made to change, not just as individuals, but as a species.

Paul says "When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child. When I became a man, I did away with childish things." (1 Corinthians 13:11) Each new generation is meant to surpass the last in understanding, and the stories our ancestors were told should take on new meaning to each passing generation. This is not to say the Bible should mean less to each passing generation. If anything, it should mean
more. Read deeper, pray harder, understand more, even if it means understanding things differently. A departure from tradition is not a departure from God, it's a departure from our own bondage to habit.

Every generation experiences an upheaval in the traditions of their forbears, and every generation has its Pharisees; people too blinded by tradition to meet truth where it lives. Jesus himself was revolutionary in his message, challenging these traditional interpretations. More than anyone in history he obliterated the status quo and reorganized our relationship to Scripture. This does not mean
God changed. It means He changed us, and continues to change us with every passing generation.