By Rev. Erik Swanson
As I watch the leaves fall outside my window, I honor that this season is a time of change. A time of shifting from the heat to the cold, from the growing to the hibernating, from the green to the barren. This season of change happens in all of our lives at different points and in many aspects: from vocation to family to our bodies.
It seems to me that in the spiritual life change, or transformation, is what we are all to be about. Jesus’ teachings seem full of these ideas, and yet the Church has most often been about the opposite: about holding on, remembering what happened two thousand years ago, trying to get back to a different time.
My upbringing in the Church never really helped me learn to embrace change and all the learning, opportunity, and potential that it held. I mean, sure we have death and resurrection but those were presented more as intellectual exercises or theological beliefs and not a lived reality that would undergird my life.
It wasn’t until I heard about this new understanding of Quadratos from Dr. Alexander Shaia that I found a lived reality of the cycles of our lives that included change. It was a revolutionary understanding of the four Gospels that made the most sense of any theory of the Bible that I had ever heard. It was transformative for me to hear that the gospel of Matthew was about dealing with change. Really?! And that coincided with the Fall season and the liminal time of day around dusk. Amazing! And… of course it does! On some deep level within me that makes so much sense.
What about you? Where do you notice the call to change? Where do you notice change happening? How is our Creator and Deeper Truth present in and through that change?
As we approach this new moment and new Church year that Advent ushers in, may we all begin again that deep work of change that opens us ever more fully to the new life that is the Christ- that is Emmanuel, God with Us.