Have you Noticed?
John D. Telgren

Changes are hard to take. To some, change is a bad word. But change is a fact of life, and needed if one is to be a Christian. "Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him..." (Col. 3:9-10). Indeed, without change, there can be no salvation.
     It was very hard for many believers in the first century to accept change, especially those that were brought up in the faith. Once, the Gentiles were considered unclean. It was taboo to even think about having a close relationship with one. Then, they were expected to eat a meal with them or be considered unfaithful. Even the hated Samaritans believed and obeyed the Gospel. Now Jewish Christians had to either accept them as brethren or be considered disobedient. Many Jewish Christians had a very hard time accepting Gentiles and Samaritans with their varied background as children of God. With the addition of so many people of different culture, background, attitudes, etc. the homogenous nature of Faith in Yahweh seemed to be threatened. But it was all part of God's plan from the "foundation of the world" (Eph. 1:4)
     The nature of this struggle has never ceased. As the church grows, it experiences change. New faces means new ideas, experiences, outlooks, and a host of other things that come into our midst. The challenge of "accept one another" (Rom 15:7) is compounded when you mix more into the pot.
     The result? Some churches have avoided adding more to the mixture to avoid the challenge. However, the effect is about like chewing gum that has lost its flavor. Not adding any more new gum makes it stale and old. There is a certain sweetness about a dynamic church that obeys the Great Commission.
     Have you reached for that new sweetness? There are visitors that come to worship with us? Have you noticed? There are neighbors that don't know Christ but are willing to learn more about Him if they were guided. Have you noticed? There is a whole community of people sinking, some are reaching out, if only someone would reach out and... Have you noticed?