How many times have I said, the status quo is not sufficient for the challenges of today? Over 30 years of pastoral ministry I have likely made that statement monthly (360 times?). And yet, I live in the status quo. The patterns of my life are deeply ingrained. The habits and patterns of our church are deeply rooted. I’m not sure there is enough dynamite in existence to blast me out of the status quo!
There is a certain comfort to the status quo. Patterns are helpful for guarding what is precious and valuable. And yet…
As I prepare for another Sunday (let’s see, almost 31 years as a pastor = 1600+ Sundays) there is a comfort in knowing that some things remain the same. The songs we sing celebrate the God who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The message I will share is still demonstrably true after decades of proclamation. The fellowship our church family will enjoy is as important as the fellowship experienced by those believers in the days immediately after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
So, while the status quo may not be compatible with the innovative thinking so desperately needed in order to start new churches and penetrate the lostness that is so pervasive, I will thank God for some things that never change. I will thank God for the status quo.
But, make no mistake, I do not worship the status quo. Rather, it is in the sameness and ordinariness of life that God makes Himself most real. Think about Zechariah – serving “according to the custom of the priesthood…chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense (Luke 1:9); John – “in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day (Rev. 1:10) and countless others who in the course of the status quo experienced God’s presence in ways that are still shaping our lives!
My prayer for this Sunday…
Lord, in the status quo may I and those I lead be sensitive to Your presence that we might allow the reality of Your presence, power, and purpose penetrate our hearts and minds that our lives might never be the same!