Familiarity - Ps Phil Newman

11th October 2020

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” 

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)


My coffee choice is a long black with almond milk (yum).  Tamiya’s coffee choice is an almond milk latte with the most ridiculously small shot of coffee you’ve ever seen.  (Seriously, it’s just slightly off-white milk.)  No-one knows how to make coffee the way she likes except me, because I’ve been making it most days for over a decade.  It’s become something (despite my best efforts) that I have become familiar with. It is good to be familiar with certain things (big and small); your partner’s coffee preferences, the Presence of God, road rules, your children’s behaviours, subject material for an exam, and so on.  However, there are times when being familiar is a problem. Sometimes, we become so familiar with a person, a place, a method, a way of thinking…. that we lose sight of the fact that there are other ways, different ways, and maybe even better ways. “Familiarity” comes from the word which means “of the same family”.  That’s why change can be so triggering for our emotions, habits, identity and plans.  When the familiar is changed, the sense of security and reliance we have developed around what has been changed is challenged. We serve a God who is always doing new things (and yes, honours the past).  So we must always be changeable, never letting the familiar become an anchor that prevents us from moving forward.  Yes, losing the familiar is destabilising.  Yes, losing the familiar is unsettling.  Yes, losing the familiar is chaotic.  Yes, losing the familiar is scary at times.  However, to get to the new (the UNfamiliar), we MUST let go of the familiar. Take a moment and be honest with yourself.  What is God asking me to change, let go of, move on from?  NEVER let this familiar thing be more important than the great plan Jesus has for your life. 

With your families and gatherings this week, we encourage you to chat about today's #ImpactOnline message.

1. What is God changing in you now?

2. How do you respond to change? (And how can you do it better?)

3. Why is Jesus the answer for every situation?

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