On January 1, a new television channel was launched. This entire channel was dedicated to one person, Oprah Winfrey. The Oprah Channel or OWN debuted with fanfare, anticipation, and excitement as 2011 opened. Oprah’s legacy and following has been strong of over 25 years, and her popular message has been consistent throughout. Transformation. Look at Oprah’s Book Club bestsellers; they are often stories of underdogs transforming their lives into something better. Oprah’s show is watched by millions and millions because people love to see her guests, experience transformation and growth first hand. We love to watch and see lives changed into something new, something better. We watch with excitement as we see them become a whole new you.
I believe that we have been hard-wired to seek transformation, that there is something powerful about it that fascinates us. We hear it coming from scripture in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” And then again in Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26, TNIV, my emphasis added) God has built us for transformation; it is meant to be the norm of how we function as believers. But if we are honest with ourselves, often our lives fall into a rhythm or even a rut. We do things the same way day in and day out. We get up at the same time, watch the same shows, and eat the same foods. Then we turn on Oprah or reality TV, and we see someone else change, we see someone else break the mold, and a part of us leaps inside. A part of us comes alive just seeing transformation, and we may think to ourselves, I wish I could do that or be that way.
But we can be. 2 Corinthians did not say if you are in Christ, you might be a new creation, it says that you are supposed to be a new creation. We are made to be transformed by the Holy Spirit. When God gets inside of us and our church, our lives should look different, we should talk different, and spend money different. But when faced with the opportunity for transformation, growth, or change, we rarely take the chance. We are fearful of the unknown and the cost of something new and unfamiliar. I believe that God has a message of transformation and change coming for His Church and for His people. I believe that God is going to show us what transformation will look like, but are we ready to accept the cost and do what it takes.
We can begin this transformation by simply engaging. Each time we read the Bible we change a little, each time we pray God transforms us a little. Join a small group, serve at a soup kitchen, go on a mission trip, mentor a child and teach Sunday school. God may say, remove this from church, change how you do this, start this. If we are faithful to what he calls us to do, trust me, in no time we will quickly see a whole new you.