Our daughter is leaving for college in a few weeks.  The question, “are you ready to be an ‘empty-nester?’ has been asked a lot. My answers range from “yes” to “sure” to “I guess” to “hmmmm”.  Whether I am “ready” or not, she will still head out on her new adventure.   
Intellectually, we know that change happens.  We see change in ourselves, in our families, in technology and in the world.  We experience the passing of the seasons in weather, but also the seasons of our lives.  Each stage of life brings its own opportunities and challenges.  These are encompassed in our relationships, work, lifestyle and a myriad of things we have no control over.  It may be more challenging emotionally or spiritually to confront change.  
Change can be beneficial or harmful.  It could even be a mixed bag of both.  I think our perceptions, actions and choices help frame the change that is around us.  It is not only how we are affected, it is also how we respond.   
This summer, we have seen three active families move away from Monroe and Grace to be closer to children and grandchildren.  They are on to new adventures in Iowa, California and Northern Wisconsin.  We miss them and feel their absence, while wishing the best for them.  Also in the midst of that loss, we welcome new people and families into Grace.  
On its base level, change can be seen as giving life or taking it away.  I believe this is true not only in physical death, but the little “deaths” we accumulate along the way.  These are the losses we experience with our physical wellbeing, our relationships, work and lifestyle.   
But we are an Easter people.  Where the world may only see and proclaim death, we see in God the promise of resurrection.  We are given a vision of new life in this world and in the next.  Are you ready for the prospects?  
Pastor John