Change can be unbelievably exciting. Change can be incredibly difficult. This tension of releasing the old and embracing the new has been a journey for my family and also for Bethel over the last year.
In just the last few months, Jessica, the kids and I have moved to Fort Saskatchewan. We have settled in to a new community and are building many new relationships. Over the last few months, incrementally my work time has been moving away from Bethel and to the Bridge. On December 1st, Jessica gave birth to a new baby, Isaac Jack. Everything in our lives is new right now.
Leaving Bethel is bittersweet. I have experienced many lasts recently. This Tuesday will be my last staff meeting after ten and a half years of them. This is my last Pastor’s Corner. Soon I will preach my last sermon as an employee of Bethel. There will be tears and hugs. Joy mixed with sadness. Every week I take a few more of my books from Bethel to my home office in Fort Saskatchewan. While the future is filled with promise and Kingdom opportunity, I cannot help but be sentimental and reflective right now.
For Bethel, the Fort church plant represents exciting change but also sadness as well. It is exciting because you are being obedient to God’s call to Mission in the world. However, building the Kingdom of God takes real sacrifice, prayer and hard work. You will say goodbye to families you have loved for many years. Finances have been sacrificed to send these families off well. A new pastor will be called soon. New volunteers will fill the empty places of those who have left. It may not be always be easy, but I can promise you that we will all be blessed.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 19 that those who leave family, houses or fields for the sake of Jesus’ mission will gain these things back 100-fold and gain eternal life. We can take comfort in these words. Why do we do these kinds of things? Simply put, the whole world needs to know that God loves them and sent His Son Jesus. It is what Christmas is about, and a message worth living for, sacrificing for, and dying for to spread.
This is not goodbye yet, we will save that for February.
Grace and Peace,
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