Dear Good People of St. Paul’s,
Transitions are all around us.
Just last week I attended an array of events which marked the end of the school year for my children. Parents and grandparents are attending ceremonies of all kinds as the academic year comes to a close. The tourist season has begun in Wilmington (and in Charleston). The heat, it seems, is here to stay. The faithful clergy who have been with you before and through this pandemic, have moved on. The full return to in-person worship with no restrictions has ensued. You will be without a rector for another couple of months. You are wondering what I am going to be like, and I am wondering the same about you! My family is in transition also, as we navigate moving to Wilmington over the summer. It is easy to be anxious during times of transitions!
We might be able to learn a thing or two about transitions from our most recent liturgical celebrations. Jesus’ ascension left the disciples to presumably fend for themselves. No matter how much Jesus told them that he would send them help, I imagine there was still a lot of anxiety among them as they waited. However, they were faithful in gathering together in prayer; and in so doing they received the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, who would guide them and empower them to be Christ’s Body to each other and the world. God is in the transitions.
We have heard it said that the only thing that is constant is change. We are always shedding old skin so we can grow into something new. I am not a fan of snakes, but they can teach us about transitions and change. The snake has to shed its old skin to grow. It has grown too much to stay in that old skin! During the shedding, the snake is vulnerable, and more tender than usual. But the period of vulnerability is essential to the growth that is taking place. This is how I imagine St. Paul’s right now. This is how I see myself. We are both shedding some skin right now. We are both vulnerable; perhaps even a little tender, as we grow into the next stage of our lives. The Good News is that God is with us in the transitions and is preparing us for the next stage of our lives, TOGETHER.
Thanks be to God. Keep the faith!