Who'd a Thought?

This week’s Pastors’ Blog is by Wayne Jenkins, formerly Pastor for Discipleship and Missions. Currently on special assignment as Interim Senior Pastor.

Last night in the National Championship football game, a controversial call by the officials fired up University of Georgia players, coaches, and fans. Rather than being discouraged, they determined to roar forward to victory. And they did. The quarterback, Stetson Bennett, after the game declared that “it’s all about resiliency.”

Winston Churchill, valiant leader of Great Britain during World War II, declared that “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” And… “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, martyred follower of Christ and stalwart advocate for discipleship wrote, “We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.”

In his book, Soaring Between Pastors, author Tom Harris encourages congregations to be captivated by God’s empowering vision for the future.

When God raised up Joshua to lead after Moses’s death, God famously taught Joshua to “be strong and courageous” and “to not be afraid or discouraged” (Joshua 1). And why was God so bold to issue these commands to Joshua? Because, as God reassured Joshua, who probably wasn’t too sure about all this transition, “the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Jesus, in preparation for his ascension, fortified his apostles with this eternal commission: “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Life is a series of transitions. Faithfulness is not found in avoiding it, or denying it, or in retreating from it, or in fixation with the past, but in receiving the transition as an opportunity to rely on God’s vision, grace, and power more than on our own sufficiency or history. Transitions are doorways, not dead ends. Bridges, not chasms.

With every transition comes an interim, a period of adjustment. There can be grief, suspense, worry, maybe even panic associated with interims. What was familiar has ended. What will be is now in formation, but not yet visible. In this interim, we are God’s instruments to bring fruit from the past and to pave the road to the future.

Actually, this transition is an Isaiah 40 . We are in the active construction business foreshadowed in these prophetic lines:

“Prepare the way for the LORD;
make straight in the desert
    a highway for our God.
 Every valley shall be raised up,
    every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
    the rugged places a plain.
 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.”

Merriam Webster defines the word interim as follows: "time intervening," 1560s, from Latin interim (adv.) "in the meantime, meanwhile," originally "in the midst of…."

Although Webster identifies it as a noun, interim, for me is actually more of a verb. Interim is active, productive, transformational, not only transitional. The interim is a period of action woven throughout with prayer.

My prayerful desire for this interim at FBCA is…

1.That in this fractured world, FBCA will be an influence of unity.
2.That in this selfish society, FBCA will practice sacrifice.
3.That in this time of exhaustion, FBCA will bring renewal.
4.That in this milieu of condemnation, FBCA will extend grace.
5.That in this sea of confusion, FBCA will live truth.

Yes, indeed. Our interim is a verb. It is a period for creating, building, going, resolving, affirming, and much more. I look forward to interim-ing with you and FBCA’s team of pastors, and staff. Thank you for the opportunity.




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