The big life transitions stir powerful emotions within us. Graduations, weddings, births, and retirements all produce joy and sorrow, delight and dread, anticipation and loss. Collectively, we as a congregation are going through a massive transition: the retirement of a long term, beloved Senior Pastor. Ordinarily, such an event would be emotional enough, but when the pastor is a larger-than-life leader like Tom Sweets...well, no one can really predict what feelings will emerge.
We're not on this emotional journey alone, though. The good news is that God is always with His people. Romans 8:16 reminds us:
"The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. The Holy Spirit dwells within each of us, reminding us that we are God's beloved and cherished children. We have permission to unload our sorrows to God and to call out to Him for comfort." (Roman 8:16)
What's more, God gives us the church community to help us along our journey. Paul reminds us:
"so in Christ, we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." (Romans 12:5).
We've been given to each other; we have a claim upon one another; and one of the reasons that God pulls together His community is so that we will help one another through the emotionally trying times:
"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2)
This month, we'll be taking three Sundays to focus on our time of transition. July 11, I'll introduce the theme with Ecclesiastes 3:1-11, the famous passage about everything having a time and a season. Then on July 18, Stephen will preach, focusing on the leadership transitions in the Bible and drawing on his long history as a part of the
Madeira-Silverwood community. Finally, Maurice will bring the series to a close on July 25, helping us remember that Christ calls us to abundant life on the other side of the transition and sharing with us his lessons after having recently retired as the long-term pastor of Hillsboro Presbyterian. Meanwhile, our Worship Arts team has been planning interactive elements for these worship service so that we can process together the changing of the times and the turning of the seasons.
I'm looking forward to worshipping with you all as we seek the comfort, strength, and encouragement of the Lord.
Soli Deo Gloria