Author Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum
Reflection: v. 9, ‘the former things have come to pass, new things I now declare’
Lately, I have found myself in many pastoral conversations about transitions. Some people have lost or had to leave jobs and find themselves venturing into new waters. A blessedly large number of our congregants have made the big transition into stable housing after years of living on the streets. Others have made huge strides in self-care, finally deciding to take an intentional step toward recovery or well-being.
Whether or not they are something positive or something unexpected, transitions are still difficult. To let go of things, even to make room for new or better things, is hard.
Like labor pains, even when we know new life is on the other side, getting there can still be a painful process. Recently, a member who was finally moving into his apartment expressed his concern that he would feel disconnected from his community. We assured him that even though things would change, even if he couldn’t come to Mercy every day like he might want, he was still an important part of the community. We would continue to support him, continue to be there for him, and continue to love him.
As this Lenten season nears its end, and we set our eyes on Easter at the end of this week—the second Easter we have stumbled toward and celebrated together in this global pandemic—I would like to think we too are in a moment of great transition. We are experiencing a time when old ways will pass, and new ways will begin. We can glimpse hope on the horizon as more friends and family are vaccinated, but we must still be cautious and careful with one another. We are eager for things to ‘return to normal,’ yet too much has been revealed about the economic and racial inequality in our country for us to wish for the ‘normal’ that was before. This week, as we take one more step toward Sunday, my advice for us is similar to the encouragement my community had for our member—things may change, in fact it is better that they do, but we will not make these transitions alone—we are supported, never abandoned, and always loved.
Prayer Guide us through the changes ahead, O Lord, and show us new ways.