One new person in a household can make a lot of difference. No matter how much the person was expected, and no matter how much joy they bring by being there, there are times when their agenda and their needs pull us in directions that we would prefer not to have to go.
There are two responses that we can have at such a time. We can ignore the needs of the new one, and pretend that they are not there (or make them fit into our way of life), or we can respond to their needs and move out of our comfort to explore new horizons. The first response carries with it the danger of rejection for the person concerned, while the second requires energy which we can often feel we don't have, but can be extremely enriching and rewarding as we discover the joy of things that are new to us, and get to know others in new ways, discovering that they can enrich us as we enrich them.
In a church, the presence of new people is both exciting and challenging. There are a host of new ideas and expectations that are created. We must make room for those, and allow for changes which will stretch both us, and those who are new. In any relationship there is give and take, growth and pruning. There are times when it is right to allow new people to lead us, and there are times when there is greater benefit to learn from our journey here as a people.
Let us continue to make room for the new, and be prepared to share the old in order that the present and the future may be enriching for us all.
March 13, 1994