It takes so much energy to deal with change that we struggle to stop ourselves regressing into bad habits, whether it be how we speak, how we behave, what we eat, or what goes through our minds. Sometimes we just don’t have the strength to be at our best.
Our church, Hobart Baptist, is in the midst of transition. Last week at our church member’s meeting we elected new deacons, appointed new people into key positions and heard from Associate Pastor Mathew that he is resigning from his position. This will be a sad day for the church as saying goodbye is never easy, especially as we have journeyed with him, his wife Naomi and baby son Jeremiah through the challenges of the past year. But our prayers will be with them as Mathew continues as chaplain of the school nearby and pursues other areas of ministry.
Such transitions are not easy for any of us. Yet they are never without hope. I have no idea what it meant for the Son of God to enter humanity and be born. I have no idea what it meant for him to die on a cruel cross. But I do know that because of what Jesus did I have hope, a hope supremely demonstrated by the resurrection.
I am also encouraged because I know Jesus Christ experienced life as I experience it and he is with me when I’m feeling vulnerable, weak and broken. Although he lived 2,000 years ago he was just as human as you and me, and so experienced the vulnerability, fragility and weakness that we all experience. He too faced significant change and transition.
So as we come to Christmas in 2014 and face significant transitions as we begin a new year ahead, it is good to be reminded that not only does Jesus understand, but he is with us in the midst of it all. Because of the resurrection, the Holy Spirit has been sent into the world and into our lives. God is with us now supporting and encouraging us through even the most difficult transitions.
If you are feeling vulnerable, weak, fragile or defenceless, Christmas is the time to take a moment to relax and remember the reality of God’s care and love. We are not alone, God is indeed with us.
Stephen L Baxter