Change makes me itchy.

I suppose this is true for many people.  We like what we know.  We can plan and predict based on past experiences.  The familiar is comfortable, new and different is, well, uncomfortable.  Like a new set of clothes that you have to adjust to, the way the collar rubs against your neck in an unfamiliar or stiff way.  You know that within a short time the new clothes will not be so new, and they’ll be as comfortable as your old ones.  But those first few times wearing them are awkward.

We’re changing clothes at our church this Sunday.

Metaphorically speaking, of course.  We’re changing something that ought to be every bit as important as clothes, perhaps even more so – we’re changing hymnals.  If our congregation was not by and large so good-natured and easy-going I would be terrified.  As it is, I know there will undoubtedly be a few grumbles here and there, some fumbling, but otherwise, people will adapt.

But initially I’m the one who has to adapt.  The spreadsheet I maintain to map out what songs we’ve sung and when has to be set aside, and a new spreadsheet created with the new hymnal hymns and numbering.  The web site I’ve relied on to help me determine if the tune is familiar enough to warrant singing the hymn has to be set aside and I have to find out if there’s a site that does the same thing for this new hymnal (The Lutheran Service Book, or LSB).

So this week is itchy and uncomfortable.  But I look forward to this hymnal becoming as comfortable and familiar as the various other ones I’ve used and led from through the years.  Sola Dei Gloria!

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