From Our Pastor
As I am thinking about how we begin, I realized we begin in a transition. I received an email the other day and it started with, “And so it begins.” I laughed to myself and began thinking about the comment. I realized that most if not all the times of our lives begin with transitions. Transitions are a time of uncertainty and can be a time of emotions that range from excitement of great expectations to great fear of what is to come. At the moment we are all in a time of transition together. The pastor who is well known to you has left to go to a new appointment and a pastor that you don’t know has arrived. And speaking for myself as that pastor, I too am leaving a congregation that I have come to know andcoming to a congregation that I don’t know. I am sure we will all have expectations and concerns about what the future holds. Will there be changes that are unsettling? Will the person/people be a good fit? What is the best way to get to know each other and become comfortable with each other? I am sure there are many other questions to go along with these. Transitions are difficult no matter how good they turn out because we are living into an unknown future. But how many more of our life transitions have turned out to be good than may have been less than positive. We were all born and lived as children and teens and then had our first big transition, high school graduation. Some of us began careers and some of us went to college. Some of us got married and had children. While we may not think of these as transitions, they were. Hopefully it is as true for you as for me that the great majority of transitions in my life have turned out well. You see as we fear the future and the unknown; we are called to remember that God is the God of transitions and is already in the future waiting for us as we walk through the unsettling changes of our lives whether those changes are big or small.
When I look at Biblical transitions three huge transitions come to mind. The first is the call of Abram. God calls him to leave everything he knows and his whole support system and culture and begin a new life in an unknown place. I cannot imagine the feeling of going to some place that I not only don’t know about but don’t even know where it is. But, Abram is faithful and he follows God to this new land and is blessed even though he never fully possesses the land. Abram trusts that the place he is called to is good because he is following the God he trusts. Abram’s trust leads to the entire nation of Israel and to the birth of the savior.
The second Biblical transition that comes to mind for me is the release of Israel from Egypt. Wow, can you imagine packing up what you can carry and heading out into the desert following a guy who says he has been sent by God to set you free from slavery. Today we might call him crazy. The people followed him to a new land, even if it took them 40 years. They grumbled but as they were able, they continued to follow and trust God. It turned out well for them eventually but it was stressful.
The biggest Biblical transition for me is the coming of God as a human and living among us as one of us. That one was a shock to many and many couldn’t believe he was God in the flesh and they fought against Him. The pharisees were afraid of losing their place of respect and the zealots were angry that He didn’t start a revolution. It was a time of change and fear for many and yet through his coming we are all blessed. We didn’t and likely still don’t fully understand the reasons for His coming or the full effect of it but we are still following and seeking to grow and understand.
While, I don’t believe our current transition is anything like these huge Biblical changes it still causes us to wonder what the future holds. The one thing I am sure of is that God is already in the future which we will share and is inviting us all to walk together as He leads us into a wonderful and blessed future. Jesus told the disciples “Let not your hearts be troubled, you believe in God believe also in me.” John 14:1 He tells them this because he knows another frightening transition is coming for them in His death and wants them to know the future is already in His hands and they will continue to be in His Love. I am anticipating the wonderful things God will accomplish through us as we seek to share His love and grace with each other and the world as we work with him to build His kingdom. I look forward to being your pastor and serving God with you.