Joshua 1:9; When Joshua was being installed as leader after Moses, the Lord told him three times, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Proverbs 3: 5, “5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Philippians 4: 6-7, “6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
All the readings we just heard refer to having faith, courage, and trust that God will lead us wherever we go and in whatever we face. Be strong. Be courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be anxious. Be in prayer. Trust in the Lord. If we live these words out through our lives, God will make our paths straight. God will guide us into the future.
Even though we can’t see the future completely, we can move forward in hope and trust, praying that God will reveal something new to us during this time of transition. Don’t miss God in changes that happen. Don’t miss the opportunity to share your appreciation for the ways in which God has worked in the past. Don’t miss the opportunity to welcome the ways in which God wants to work in the future. Don’t miss God, who is at work in all things, through this time of change.
I recently met with my spiritual director. We spoke some about change and transitions. I shared that last year was a major year of change for me. We moved to a new church, a new city, a new home, and welcomed a new baby into our lives. I honestly shared that I wasn’t sure what God was trying to tell me in this time of change, except that I can look back on it and realize that God directed every part of the journey. Maybe that’s what you were meant to learn, my spiritual director shared. It’s true. We quickly move through change and transition not realizing that God was always present.
While change and transition can be scary, rest assured that God is at work in the change; and challenges can really be transformation. In this time of change, let us pray often that we will be open to the God who will continue to guide us into the future. Let us pray that we will not miss God in change.
Let us pray:
God of Love, You are with us in every transition and change. As we enter into this new era with excitement and even some anxiety, we recall your deep compassion, presence, and abounding love. We thank you for the gifts, talents and skills with which you have blessed us.
We thank you for the people and experiences that have brought us to this moment as a church.
We thank you for the work of others that gives breadth and depth to our own ministry. Be with us as we move forward, rejoicing with you and supporting one another.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.