Scripture: John 5:19-29
Key verse: 24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
Reflection: Last week I, along with 18 other pastors, attended “Transitional Ministry Training” at the Charlotte campus of Union Presbyterian Seminary. Transitional ministry is a new term for Interim ministry, designating that ‘interims’ do not simply fill a spot but guide and join the congregation in transition. However, this concept goes beyond churches who are between called and installed pastors. The idea of transition is for all of us as we are all in transition. You are not the same person you were yesterday; the world is not the same as it was last week; this church is not the same as it was last year. Life is transition.
One aspect of the training was determining transitions in terms of from-to: from this to that. The gospel message as a whole, as this passage tells us, says that life in Christ is one of transition. In Christ we move from death to life, from our old life to our new life in Christ. I wonder what transition you are experiencing in your life. I wonder if you can identify the from and the to in your transition. Could your transition be from one job to another, or from one position to another. Your transition may be from single to engaged, from engaged to married, or from married to divorced. Your transition may be from healthy to diagnosed, or from cancer patient to cancer survivor, from care-giver to care-receiver (or the reverse), from working parent to stay-at-home parent.
I wonder if there is transition in your spiritual life or your perspective on life. Imagine moving from comfort to courageous, from being fed to feeding, from inward to outward. I wonder what transition our church is in. Where are we moving from, and to where are we going? What was the old life, and what is the new life we are moving towards? Transition is not always easy. But it is necessary for growth and renewal. In Christ we are made new. In Christ we move from death to life.
Prayer: You came so that I may have life and have it abundantly. You give me life, O Lord. Call me to move forward in my transition closer to you. By your power and in your mercy, guide me from here to there and be forever changed. Amen.
Author: Ben Brannan
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].