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Change and Changelessness

The clocks have gone back an hour and darkness draws in earlier each day. In this fading of natural light there is a transience, a sense that time moves on and that there is only one who is unchanging. There is a prayer we say at compline:

“Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the silent hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world, may repose upon thy eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

2022 has certainly been a year of flux and social anxiety. It feels like many of us are wearied by the change and chance of all that has happened: the invasion of Ukraine, the death of our late sovereign, the various prime ministers passing through Number 10, the rise in the cost of living - it’s been an unsettling time.

In and through all this we have, as this prayer reminds us, hope in the eternal changelessness of God. The church year draws to a close in the next few weeks before we begin again with Advent on the 27th of November. At this turning point, I take heart that wherever we are and in whatever we are facing, we have a constant hope in heaven in and through Jesus Christ, who was and is and ever shall be, world without end.

Sitting in a dark candlelit church during our new service of compline, reminds me of the greatest hope we have in the one who is the light shining in the darkness, even if the darkness comprehendeth it not!


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