Rev. Dr. Devin Strong
Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church
Tis the season of transitions. Students are graduating from high school and college. Couples are getting married. When I was in the North, I did more weddings on Memorial Day weekend than any other weekend of the year. Of course, most people had that extra day off work, and in Michigan, it was maybe the first weekend of the year when you could count on decent weather! In the South, I do fewer weddings on Memorial Day weekend because it is already so hot. Even so, I presided at my niece’s wedding just a few weeks ago. Families are also moving.
Real Estate agents will tell you that Spring is the best time of year to sell your house.
I remember getting my driver’s license n the Spring. I needed a book for school, so my told me to drive to the bookstore and buy it. I went to a place called The Paper Tiger just a few miles from my house. I arrived without incident, found my book, and paid for it. Then it suddenly occurred to me that I was alone, and I was filled with fear.”Who is going to drive me home?!,” I thought to myself. After a few moments of mild panic, I realized that it was up to me. I got in the car and drove myself home. It was a liberating moment in my life.
Transitions of any kind are both exhilarating and scary—exhilarating because we get to experience something, someone, or someplace new, and scary because we are forced to push ourselves in new ways, often out of our comfort zones. The biggest problem with transitions is that we feel so alone in them. Others may have graduated, or married, or moved before, but these things are new to us, so we feel unprotected and vulnerable/ As Christians, the hope that we all hold onto is that we are never alone in anything. God the Father lovingly created the world just as we needed it to be. The Lord stood by us in the garden, and even when we messed up badly, God refused to abandon us. In fact, God deliberately came to us in Jesus and lived our life for 33 years so that he would know first-hand exactly what you and I face daily. Even in Jesus, God’s reach was limited.
He could not be with all of us all the time, so the Lord ascended into Heaven so that the Spirit of Jesus could be with everyone of us in every moment.
We celebrate the arrival of God the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday, May 28th this year. It is a day of exuberance and excitement as we experience God on the loose in the whole world all at once. Because of Pentecost, you and I cannot be alone in our transitions. The Lord of Love is in our fear, in our passion, in the air itself.
Of course, you and I are also responsible to use our gifts in ever new ways.
Mom “invited” me to take my new driver’s license and pick my sister up from soccer practice. I thought that was great, until I realized that I was now in charge of sitting and waiting in the parking lot three days a week! Transitions are an opportunity to grow in our service to others.
Blessings to all who are experiencing change this time of year.
God loves you, and so do I!