Change is hard for me, and I’ll give you an example. For fifteen years, I have driven various models of the exact same vehicle – a blue 2001 Jeep Cherokee Classic. Each time one breaks down, I go looking for exactly the same thing. Needless to say, all of the change this past year at Ezekiel has been hard on me, and I know it’s been hard on you. Changes due to Covid, changes due to staff departures, changes due to pastoral departures. Each one of these alone would be enough change for one congregation to shoulder.
Maybe all of this change is the reason I did something in church recently that I’d never done before: I cried. It was an ordinary Friday afternoon, and I’d stopped by Ezekiel to pick up a reading. On my way out, I was drawn into a very quiet, empty and dark sanctuary. As I entered, without explanation, I started to cry. Maybe these kinds of moments have happened to you, but this was a first for me. Why did this happen? Were they “happy tears” as my mom calls them – happy that I was finally standing in a place that had been closed to me for so long due to Covid? Were they tears of sadness due to all of the change? Perhaps a combination of both.
I’m reminded of a story in the book of John about change. At the pool of Bethesda, Jesus encounters a cynical, sick beggar. Interestingly, though, Jesus does not immediately heal the man. Instead, Jesus first asks him, “do you want to get well?” (John 5:6). Biblical scholars agree that this is a very important teaching of Jesus: Before Jesus performs the miracle of healing, Jesus wants to know – “do you really want this; do you really want to get better?”
For me, I don’t like the change, but I do want Ezekiel to be the best it can be. That’s where you come in. Now is a perfect time for you to jump in yourself and get involved in Ezekiel. There is a place for you, I promise. It could be helping with a service, a volunteer project, or joining one of Ezekiel’s many ministry committees. Not sure where to start? Call me. We’ll talk about spreading the word of Jesus (and sorry, but my Jeep is not for sale).
Max Neuhaus, President of the Congregation