“For it has been made clear to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. What I mean is that each of you says, ‘I belong to Paul,’ or ‘I belong to Apollos,’ or I belong to Cephas,’ or ‘I belong to Christ.’ I Corinthians 1:11-12).”
Recently I went to get my haircut at the place where I normally get it cut. They do a good job for me. They take care of me nicely. I really like the normal routine.
However the last time I was there, the normal routine changed a bit. Usually the person who cuts my hair also washes it. I like how she does it. Her years of experience have helped her learn not only to wash hair but to massage your head in a way that is relaxing and refreshing.
Like I said, the last time I was there, the normal routine changed a bit. The one who would cut my hair was finishing up with someone else. So instead of having me wait too long, they had a new person wash my hair.
It was different. It was odd. As I sat there getting my hair washed, I found myself thinking about how much I really didn’t like this other person washing my hair. She had a different touch. It was a very light touch. It wasn’t massaging. It wasn’t really relaxing. It really didn’t do anything other than . . . wash my hair.
It got me thinking about me. Why was I having a hard time adjusting to something new? I realized that I had come to this place with certain expectations. I liked getting my hair washed AND my head massaged.
When I realized that, then I found myself wondering how can I accept the gift that I was being given, that someone was taking care of me and providing a service for me? As I started to shift my attitude to one of appreciation of what was being done for me, I couldn’t help but think of the Apostle Paul, a writer in the New Testament.
At one point, when he was writing to the people that lived in Corinth who had a hard time accepting different leaders, he wrote to them that while he had some gifts, the other leaders (to whom he was being compared) also had some gifts. And he reminded the Corinthians that each one of the leaders was actually building on the work of the others, all for the glory of God.
I look out at our denomination and see the changes that are happening around us. Some of them are not always easy. They are changes, and as such, they upset our routines. They remind us of a different touch or a different feel for church. Yet, we are walking through these changes as a way to continue to help us connect with God, to build upon the foundation we have been given, and to move into the future that God is calling our denomination.
When you find yourself confronted this week by changes or by a different touch than what you expected, how can you look to God to help you walk through that?
Loving God, thank you for walking with us through life. There are moments when we face challenges that seem overwhelming; help us seek you and learn from you. Come to touch us where we most need your touch and your grace. Help us to be faithful to you in all we do. In the hope that Jesus offers us. Amen