When I was ten, the world could not change quickly enough to suit me. When I was twenty, I believed my springtime world would never change at all. When I was thirty, I was old enough to know how wrong I had been at twenty. When forty arrived, I began to realize, not always happily, that change was inevitable. Now, well into my forties, I understand that change is one of the few things in life that is constant and unchangeable.
All of that should not be surprising. At the center of our faith as Christians, deep within the symbolism of the Cross and the Resurrection, is the ebb and flow of death and rebirth—in a word, change. Even so, most of us don’t like change. Something about it calls up the specter of uncertainty and confusion, and we would much prefer our lives to be ordered and our surroundings controlled. If nothing else, experience should teach us that such hopes are rarely met. In fact, as someone once said, we would we wiser to expect the unexpected and find within it opportunities for growth and new reasons for celebration.
Isn’t that, after all, one of the messages of our Christian faith? Renewal is always the child of change. New beginnings are always accompanied by endings. In the language of the gospels, Resurrection is born of the pain of Crucifixion. Far from fearing that reality, Christians have always boldly celebrated it and found its apparent paradox the key to living life unafraid, unbowed, and triumphantly hopeful.