Mark 6:3-4 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house."
For the most part, we really don’t like change – except perhaps when it comes to a fanatic, who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject. We don’t like change, there are some things we know so well, we can do them with our eyes closed, and it would be a nightmare to imagine life where certain things didn’t always remain the same. If for example, the bathroom was always behind a different door, or if milk poured out the cereal box, and cereal poured out the milk jug, if the grass one day was blue and the sky was green. None of these changes would be welcome. And that is what brings us to our topic, the difficulty we have, when people change.
It takes a lot of time to get to know people, and perhaps that is why we imagine that they should not change, but they do, whether we want to admit it or not. If we want to sustain the relationship, that means we need to learn about the changes in their lives. It’s a very simple question – What’s new with you? It needs to be asked, and when it is asked of us, we need to take it seriously.
It might have happened when we were children, perhaps on coming home from school, and our parents asked – what’s new? Perhaps we couldn’t think of anything – but the problem is that we didn’t say, I can’t think of anything, instead we said nothing. It could have been something else, but somehow we got into thinking that nothing ever changes, not even me.
We know that Christians will grow in faith, in love, and in service – it starts a little seed, it grows roots, it grow leaves, and in the end bears fruit. A Christian life is all about growing in Christ. Christians do not remain the same – its not that the changes are dramatic, but they are there – even if we don’t notice them ourselves. And perhaps that is the real problem – we fail to notice how God is at work in us. And if we don’t see God at work in our lives, not only do we fail to give him thanks, but by failing to give him the credit, we fail to tell His story.
How is God at work in our lives? Ever time we repent of sin and ask forgiveness, we ask God to change us and help us so that we don’t do that again. Temptations we have overcome, that is a change, that is God at work in our lives. Things we have accomplished, that also is God at work in our lives. And these things happen so we can tell the story of God at work in our lives.
That brings us to the final point – while it is good to see God at work in our lives, and we thank God for the salvation he has given us – are we willing to see God at work in the lives of others? Are we willing to ask others – what’s new with you – and to really listen?
If not – we are in danger of becoming someone else’s thorn in the flesh – not leading people forward in faith, but leading them back to the flesh, back to sin death and the devil.