Cal Lord: God’s word a bulwark in ever-changing world


Change! Most of us dread it. It suggests that the world we are living in has moved on and left us behind. That’s the feeling I got when I sat in on a workshop about youth ministry this week. Like most people I know, I don’t feel my age. I still think of myself as being a young man. By the time the seminar was over though, I was feeling a little long in the tooth.

The Rev. DaVita McCallister is the youth and young adult ministry resource minister for the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ. Before she spoke, she pointed out that the stress balls on the table were for those of us who had a hard time with change. The lady next to me scooped up two of them, one for each hand. I knew it was going to be quite a workshop.

Workshops are great. I carried away quite a bit of information from the seminar. The problem is figuring out how to use what you’ve learned when you get home. That’s why I had to laugh as I came up against reminders of just how much the world is changing as I went through the rest of my day.

My first stop after leaving Hartford Seminary was at a friend’s church in West Hartford. I pulled into the driveway and I noticed that the church had done some construction since my last visit. The traffic pattern coming into the church was all new. I couldn’t believe it. I felt lost. When did that happen?

I left there and on the way home I passed the house of a good friend of mine. I smiled to myself. I had been to his house many times over the years. Then it struck me that he had moved and someone new lived there now. I’d never get to swim in his pool again or discuss world events while having coffee out on the deck.

This theme of change came full circle as I sat through the annual meeting of The William W. Backus Hospital. President and CEO Dave Whitehead spoke about the changing nature of health care and enumerated the number of changes that Backus had made in order to achieve its mission. He complimented the board and his staff for being able to look beyond today’s struggles to a vision of what the future holds.

The truth is that everything in this world changes. Isaiah the prophet wrote, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” That was the message that I heard in the morning. A lot of things change in this world, but we don’t have to be afraid.

God and his message of love and redemption cuts through all the changing circumstances of life. No matter what is happening to you right now, it cannot separate you from God’s love. Your world may be spinning off its axis, but God is still there ready to hold you up and set your feet on the solid ground of tomorrow. Just call out his name and he will be there. That’s the good news that we can hold on to as we travel through this ever-changing world we call home.

God bless. See you in church.

The Rev. Cal Lord is a Norwich resident and serves as pastor at Central Baptist Church of Westerly. Reach him at