Think on These Things: Change and the addressing of spiritual needs

As a pastor, I have long struggled to serve this community within this new reality

Lloyd Strickland – Clearwater Christian Church

Some things never change. I have often heard it the other way around: “Change is inevitable”, but that’s wrong. An illustration of something not changing is our observation of the snow on Clearwater Peak (often mislabelled as Grizzly Mt.). The old timers told us 50 years ago to watch for the snow going off the mountain. When it bares off that means the spring runoff has peaked and the flood threat to valley is over. My observations have confirmed that statement.

Climate change might also change the thaw cycle on the mountain, so perhaps change is inevitable.

Another thing that I have noted over the years that seems unchanging is the fact that no matter where they are religion wise, people have deep inner needs. Those needs are often called spiritual needs. I can guarantee that this would not be a subject brought up at the coffee shop, but even the toughest atheist has deeply seated feelings. That is another of my observations. I might be wrong, but I stand by the idea.

Our society has largely rejected Christianity and has turned to other forms of spirituality as it seeks to address those innermost needs. In some cases this has involved a rejection of organized church, while, at the same time keeping the faith. In most other cases there is a trend toward being identified as nonreligious. Various forms of New Age and philosophical spirituality attract others. Others are attracted to various religions other than Christianity.

What is now called “Spirituality” has a broad meaning. I realize that this inner stability may be found away from organized religion, but the faith which I espouse is also independent from organized religion.

As a pastor, I have long struggled to serve this community within this new reality. Things have changed since I began my ministry here. Gone is the stability that even a fractured Christian faith brought into the lives of our elders.

 

Within this context how do I communicate the peace, comfort and hope found in trusting Jesus? Perhaps, the message to me, and to all who share this trust with me, is to simply live the Love of God. That is a good message and it is unchanged.