Somewhere around 31 years ago, I graduated from high school. When I graduated, I received a gift from a good friend, Dave Langholz. Dave, at the time, was a youth minister at Colonial Church of Edina. He also worked part time as the advisor for both the high school yearbook and newspaper. I was on the newspaper staff as a photographer. Though I didn’t attend Colonial, Dave still became something of a mentor and a friend to me.
At my graduation open house, Dave gave me a gift of a coffee cup. It says “Rejoice in the Lord Always.” I didn’t even drink coffee yet…but somehow, Dave must have know that later in my life, I would become a “person of the bean.”
So I’ve been carrying this coffee cup around with me for 31 years. Up until the day I packed my office at Lord of Life, I used that coffee cup every day. I was often teased at church that it was like another appendage. If I were to set it down, and someone found it, it would make its way back to my desk, because people could easily recognize it as mine. (My wife is amazed that I could keep any breakable object for 31 years.)
Tomorrow, I will have a new place to put my coffee cup. A new desk on which to set it, new hallways to wander with it; new counters and shelves on which to set and forget it. There are new cups of coffee to be shared with new friends. There are new meetings where I will bring my coffee cup, and new conversations I will get to take part in. Tomorrow, I’ll begin carrying my coffee cup around Trinity Lutheran Church in Owatonna.
My coffee cup is something that I’ve had with me for a long time, a constant in the midst of change.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8). My family and I have experienced lots of change in the past couple of months. A new town, new home, new schools, new church, new people in our lives, new grocery stores, new coffee shops, a new phone number (which I can never remember) a new address…
In the midst of change, in the midst of chaos, I am reminded that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Like a thread running through my life, a constant in the midst of change, Jesus is present.
Jesus is present in the midst of my change. Jesus is present in the midst of your change.
The key is not to find Jesus in the midst of change…the key is to look and see that Jesus has always been there.