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Rock Solid

By Dan Baumgartner on
Dan Baumgartner
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Apr 20 in Musings
Anne and I hit a milestone this week- Wednesday the 18th of April marked the 43rd anniversary of our FIRST DATE!  We were sophomores in high school, and through the wily manipulation of a mutual friend, we ended up going to the Spring Barn Dance together. Yes, we both lived in urban Seattle, but the dance had a "barn" theme.  Go figure.  We both wore jeans and checkered shirts. The picture shows us standing awkwardly (we hardly knew each other) in front of a bale of hay, and me holding a pitchfork to simulate American Gothic.  In the school gym.  43 years ago. 1975. Wow.  The world was different. We have changed. God remains the same.
 This week I thought about all that has gone on in our lives since 1975: college, a two-year breakup, reuniting, engagement, wedding, three kids, a career change, grad school, four moves around the country, our children launched. In the meantime, presidents have come and gone, wars have been fought, technology has exploded. The world is different. We have changed. God remains the same.

I thought about how relationships work- whether they are friendships, or marriages or both. They are never static. We never "arrive" in a relationship. Even after all these years, Anne and I still learn things about each other, accommodate, learn from and grow together. Even after many years of following Jesus, nobody ever "arrives." We never say "whew, finally, I have this faith thing all figured out and have all the answers. I'll just coast from here." Of course not. For me, that's one of the most exciting things about a relationship with God. It's an entire lifetime of learning, challenges and growth.  Meanwhile, the world is different. We change. God remains the same.

There is something immensely comforting about that last part to me. While the world vacillates between exhilaration and chaos, while I stumble around and have to re-learn things constantly in my life and faith...God remains the same.  God isn't compassionate one day and a tyrant the next. He doesn't offer salvation here and abandon us there. The cross of Christ happened in historical time and space. It's real. It never changes. The heart of God is for us. It always was, is and will be. We see it in Jesus. He is, after all, the one the writer of Hebrews said this about: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8)."
The world is different. We change. God remains the same.
See you soon,
       Pastor Dan

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