This day has not come easily. For me, it has meant a lot of waiting, form filling, interviewing, meetings, phone calls...in short: transitioning. There has been worry, anxiety, and fear during this time. Although those feelings have been accompanied by immense joy and excitement, they have been burdensome. I sense that the congregation here at Gray, even if it has been experienced it in a different way, has felt the weight of this time of transition as well. I imagine that this time of transition from a beloved pastor to a new one has been hard, sad, and downright painful at times for the congregation as well. Even if we accept was is to come, that doesn't mean the road will be easy. The congregation has been welcoming, hospitable, and accepting of me already, but I know that it does not come without a price. The price is a burden...it is losing a person that you loved, respected, leaned on, and enjoyed. There is a burden with this new excitement.
It is with these burdens and difficulties that we may come to Jesus. Matthew 11: 28-30 says this:
“Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Put on my yoke, and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves. My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light.”
The process of coming to Gray was made much easier, light, joyful, and exciting for me because I knew Jesus was there for me to lean on and go to with my anxieties and fears. This has prompted me to come here with open arms. You all know that Jesus is here for you too, and I imagine that the trust and reliance has made this transition easier and lighter.
Jesus makes himself available to us even, perhaps especially, in the hardest of times where our burdens seem too much to bear. When we go to Jesus, the joy and excitement of living life with him can re-surface, unearth, and we can move forward, especially in times of transition...
See you Sunday!