Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them. (Hebrews 13:8–9 NLT)
One of the central aspects of the 2016 movie Moana was the Polynesian art of wayfinding. In the movie, Maui describes it as “seeing where you’re going in your mind. Knowing where you are by knowing where you’ve been.” While there is a definite need for memory and imagination in wayfinding, much of the burden on knowing how to navigate the open ocean rests on the constancy of the stars. Though they are traveling at unfathomable speeds many, many galaxies away, from our perspective, the stars are following set paths across our sky, similar to how the Sun travels from east to west.
Knowing these star paths is instrumental to successfully navigating across an unknown seascape or landscape. If you know how to find the North Star – or the Southern Cross if you’re in the southern hemisphere – then you know which way is north. It is by the constancy of the stars that we are able to travel through unknown places or find our way back home when we are lost.
Yet even the stars in the sky drift over time. Our current North Star, Polaris, was not always so closely aligned with Earth’s north pole; even as recently as the time of Jesus’s birth, two other stars – Kochab and Pherkad – were twin northern pole stars. Even if it takes millennia, the truism that change is the only constant in this world makes itself known.
However, there is one notable exception. God does not change. He is the same as he ever was, and he will continue to be for all eternity. And just as we can navigate through the unknown using the constancy of the stars as our guide, the unchanging nature of Jesus can serve as our lodestone, directing us to his True North.
It can be easy to forget the necessity of a constant in the midst of unending change. As the world around us shifts and reshapes itself based on the whims of the culture, we can hold tight to our constant: Jesus, the Christ. Look back at the past year, or decade, considering where you’ve been so that you might better understand where you are now; then, look toward Jesus, our constant and unchanging God, so that you might better know the way through the unknown places in this world or find your way back home.