Ken Garland Retires

A milestone passed last Sunday morning, with barely a mention. Yes, it was Reformation Sunday, but that’s not what I’m thinking about. Last Sunday morning, Ken Garland taught his last official Sunday School class here at Peninsula. Well, I’m sure it’s not going to be his last time teaching — but the class that he has taught for decades is now under new management.

Ken has concluded that for physical reasons, now is probably a good time to hand the baton of the leadership of that class on to someone else. So that class will now be different. There will be change.

Change is always hard. I don’t like change, in case you didn’t know. Oh, it can be refreshing and stimulating, but it can also be difficult and challenging. It can get us discouraged, but it can also cause us to rethink life and direction and purpose. So, it is not all bad.

But as I think about change this week, I am reminded that there are two things which do not change.

First, God does not change. He is not like us, He does not change. The same God who created light with a sentence is the same God who rescued Israel from slavery. The God who chose Mary to carry the Savior is the same God who engineered a meeting between Andrew and Jesus down at Bethany Beyond Jordan. It was an encounter which has changed the world. The same God who gave grace to David in his sin is the same God who forgives us when we cry out to Him.

Yesterday. Today. Forever. God does not change. And because God does not change, we can trust Him to always be faithful and generous and lovely and merciful. He is always good and always does what is right and just.

Second, God’s Word never changes. Because God never changes, what He says does not change. Everything in His Word remains true for all of time. And eternity. Whatever the Bible teaches us about our world and human nature and what God has done to save us is not ever going to change. Ever. Whether you agree with what God has said doesn’t really matter, the Word of God is firmly fixed.

Therefore, God’s promises will not change. As everything changes around us, and it feels like we are spinning out of control, the promises of God are a steady anchor for the soul.

Change is a part of life. Some change is good, especially if we have longed for it and prayed for it. But sometimes change knocks us over rather unexpectedly. But it doesn’t matter, God does not change and neither does His Word. God is trustworthy and faithful. We have an anchor.

So, as Ken makes a transition from teacher to student, thank him for his years of sacrificial service. Continue to pray for the Garlands and let’s watch how God works in that class and through Ken’s continued faithfulness to the Savior.

And we must keep our anchor in God and His Word. Don’t let go of Him in days of change.

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