Pastor’s Reflection

The Greek philosopher Heraclitis wisely observed that “the only constant in life is change.” We certainly can all attest that adjusting to change in circumstances is a large part of our human experience. As a congregation, you have had to adjust to the retirement of two long-term beloved pastors last year, and to the reality of what it means now to have a pastor serving as an interim with you, meaning you are in a liminal space as you wait to see what happens next. By definition a liminal space is “a place of transition, waiting, and not knowing.” It is also the place where transformation occurs.
 
Recently, we’ve had additional staff changes with the resignation of Aaron Elliott, our youth cluster leader, and with the death of our Transitional Consultant, Rev. Dr. John Mann last week. All of these transitions can feel like too much. To be present to them and to grieve them appropriately is what we must do in order to be attentive to a deeper reality.
 
Because Heraclitis was only partially correct. As persons of faith who trust in the revelation of the holy scriptures, we can affirm a deeper constant: the presence of God with us in all possible circumstances, of things of which we are aware and even far beyond our awareness. To cite two sources of this deeper wisdom:
 
“Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
and
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalm 90:2
 
With Lent beginning on March 6, we are invited into a journey with our Lord as he set his face toward Jerusalem when he knew it was time for him to enter the liminal space between his teaching and healing ministry and the events that would take place during Holy Week. Going through the human challenges we also face—of temptation, pain, sorrow, rejection, loneliness, and broken relationships, Jesus moved through them hanging on to the constancy of God’s goodness. We are invited to do the same. It’s really the only way to journey through life. We get to do this within community as we worship each week, as we lament and confess, as well as hear the good news of God’s presence and solidarity with us throughout the journey.
 
Getting ready for the journey with you,
Pastor Stephanie