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William Bridges would seem to be an expert on transitions. He wrote a book about transitions titled, Transitions. Transitions involve endings, neutral zone, beginnings.
How do we navigate transitions with our faith?
Read John 20:11-18.
This story is about a lot of things. It is a transition.
I have always wondered why Jesus seems so rude toward poor disoriented Mary. Does he think himself too good now?
This isn't about Jesus. It is about Mary.
- Focus on 20:17
- Do not cling to me. Do not hold on to me. (Let me go)
- BUT you go find my brothers and tell them I am ascending to my father and your father, to my God and your God.
- Mary has to let go because she has a mission. She is sent by Christ
- She wants to hold on to Jesus as she knows him. As long as she is holding on and won't let go then she cannot be sent on the mission.
- She wants to hang on to Jesus, her Rabbi, but he is returning to His Father, and now he can say, her father and her God too.
- Recall in 14:12 When Jesus is with his Father, we will be able to do even greater works.
- Transitions will happen.
- No one is making it happen. No one is forcing it. God and the universe have not conspired against you. Things change. We change. Others change. (This too shall pass)
- Some of it is good. Some of it isnt. Some of it just is.
- What was isnt necessarily bad, but it cannot always be. It ends. [There was nothing wrong with Jesus as Marys rabbi but that came to an end. Mary has to let go of it.]
- What is soon to be might be good, better, or worse. But it begins.
- Transitions are all around us: The events of today. The experiences of our nation. The experiences of this church. The inappropriate responses are fear, worry, anger, and even nostalgia.
- What truly matters is that we follow Christ through the ending, the in-between, and the new beginning.
- Letting Go and Going Out
- Holding on to that which has ended keeps us from moving into the mission of God.
- What is it that we are holding on to and won't let go?
- A grievance, conflict, unresolved past, sin, nostalgia, comfort, control, expectations preferences, age, familiarity?
- It might be something really important, but we have to let it go to get to the new beginning.
- And letting go doesnt despise what was. It can honor it.
- Whats Our Mission? What is Your Mission?
- If your faith ends here. If these were your best days, then wheres your mission? If this was the best then what was it for? Did it matter? Did the teaching and care and confidence we invest in you matter?
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Morning Sermon, 17 May 2009
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