Written by Sarah Comer
Do you realize how rare a find it is to see a church in a pastoral transition not only continuing with life and ministry as usual, but continually seeking to do it with the same level of motivation and passion to do all things with the excellence of Christ? When a leader leaves, an excuse is automatically built-in for an opposite way of living.
“We can’t continue as normal because we’re in a season of transition.”
“We can’t make any positive changes until we have a new member in leadership.”
“How are we supposed to know what to do? We’ll have to wait until a new season begins.”
But, let me be clear: I don’t believe that’s the example that Christ laid out for us at all.
Where would you and I be if the disciples decided that they couldn’t do anything until Jesus came back? Just take a minute to envision your life in the most chaos it has ever been and then multiply that by a few billion people. Go ahead; I’ll wait.
We weren’t meant to live like that. Christ left with us a treasured legacy. He taught us how to pray, how to live, how to love our neighbors so that we might do exactly that even beyond His time on earth. “Go and do likewise.”
I believe that’s why we have the amazing gift that we do during this season of transition. The gift of peace that passes all understanding. It’s because we know what the legacy from Christ’s ministry and His ministry through our previous pastoral family looks like. Much like the disciples, it’s not like we were abandoned; it’s that we were prepared.
It’s because of that preparation that we can have peace. Peace to keep going. Peace to maintain love. Peace to move forward.
Peace even when something breaks that our pastor usually fixed.
Peace even when someone new says to us, “Tell me your story.”
Peace even when we’re hearing from guest speakers.
Peace even when we’re anticipating change.
Change is hard. Change is usually unwanted and disliked. If you want to know the hardest parts of someone’s life, ask them about a time they went through a major change. That’s why what we have is such a gift. A gift of preparation. A gift of a legacy. A gift of the ability to go and do likewise. A gift of peace that passes understanding.
Colossians 3:15 says,
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
I don’t know about you, but I smile at the part that says “as members of one body, you are called to live in peace.” I smile because I know that Real Life is doing that. I smile because I know that we very easily could be living in chaos. I smile because I’m so thankful. I’m thankful Christ rules in our hearts. I’m thankful he ruled in the hearts of our former pastoral family. And, I’m thankful for the work I already know that He is doing in the hearts of our future pastoral family. I don’t have to understand the why, the how, the when, or the who because the peace we are living in overcomes all of those questions. It’s a peace I don’t have to understand. It’s a peace I can just simply treasure.
Today, be encouraged. As members of one body, we are living in peace. And today, spend time smiling as you reflect on that. For today and every day, you may be thankful.