Act 7: Brand New

When was the last time you stepped into something new? Wasn’t it a little terrifying – make you feel inexperienced and maybe a little insecure? Well, we’d bet that right now you know a few new parents. Or someone in a new job, new to church, moving into a new house. Think back to what would have helped you, and offer it to them.

Choose how you’ll complete today’s act:
Strike up a chat with that person. Ask them how their new thing is going. If they’re new to the area, offer them your number or email address.

 Offer help – or a coffee. Ask them if they need any practical help in their new phase, or want to meet up for a drink.

Cook up a few days’ worth of meals and take them over to a new person’s house. Or, freeze some meals for when you know someone new – and ask a few people at your church to be a ready-to-go meal train for when it’s needed.

“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.”
(Psalm 84:5 NIV)

Your thought for today:

By the time I was in my mid-20s I had lived in five countries on three continents in so many houses I find it hard to count them. And then I moved with my husband to a Buckinghamshire village and stayed there for an unprecedented nine years. We put down roots, had two children, and bumped into people we knew every time we left the house. It was a novel and mostly very positive experience of stability and belonging and I didn’t want it to end.

But the time came when it was right to move on. I packed boxes with eyes blurry with tears, said melodramatic goodbyes (we were only moving a few junctions down the M25) and geared myself up to start again.

Walking into the new kitchen I saw a large bag on the counter. It was bulging with goodies – wine, chocolate, tea bags, tissues, washing up liquid: a treasure trove of treats and thoughtfully chosen necessities. The card was signed by my husband’s new colleagues, but it felt like God’s welcome to us.

It can sometimes feel like the only constant in life is change. Even if we live in the same house for decades, our neighbours will move, our children will grow up and out, jobs will come and go, our churches may become unrecognisable under new leadership. Change, even if it is positive, can be unsettling and stressful. A tangible reminder of God’s constant love in our new situation can make all the difference.

Written by Jo Swinney
Jo Swinney is an author, speaker and Director of Church Communications for CPO. She is the editor of Preach magazine and Bible Society’s Lyfe Journal, and writes regularly for LICC, Daily Bread, Premier Christianity and Christian Today. Her latest book is Home: the quest to belong (Hodder & Stoughton). Jo lives in Surbiton with her American vicar husband, their two little girls and a very chatty cat.

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