A lot of life is not ever meant to stay the same. God has made us to be forward moving people. Throughout Scripture, we see movement. After the fall into sin, the first humans left the garden. Noah was to float around for quite some time without knowing where he would land when the waters dried up. Abraham was to go to another land to become the father of many people. Moses and the nation of Israel went from Egypt and captivity to freedom in the Promised Land. David did not stay a shepherd but became a king after fighting many battles.
Part of this week’s text is from Isaiah 42:9, “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” I chose this text because I thought it fit well as we are now going into a new year. My usual routine is to try to get the title for that week’s sermon to Debbie, our church secretary, so she can be sure to put it in the church bulletin.
I decided to have the title, “It’s Time to Move On.” Debbie was not at her desk when I was ready to give her the title, so I wrote a note with the title on it. After I walked away and got to thinking what I just did, I realized what her impression might be after receiving a note from me on the Monday morning after coming back from Christmas break that said, “Debbie, It’s time to move on, Pastor.”
I quickly went back to the office and saw Debbie reading the note. I blurted out, “That note is the title for my sermon,” Debbie said with a little laugh and smile, “I was thinking that was the case.” After clearing up that situation, I got to thinking more of the impact of receiving the actual message of “moving on” can be heartbreaking.
Can you imagine getting a note that said something about that it’s time to move on? The situation could be work related. Just when you think that you have job security, your boss is telling you that it’s time to get another job. Or maybe a person is telling you that he or she wants to get out of a long relationship and move on to something else.
Moving on can be thought of in a negative way. It could mean that we are leaving something or someone who was very dear to us. Grief comes our way with waves of sadness. Having a tough time to move to other things in life can be hard. Although as tough as it is to keep moving, we have to say that this moving from one thing to another is natural.
A lot of life is not ever meant to stay the same. God has made us to be forward-moving people. Throughout Scripture, we see movement. After the fall into sin, the first humans left the garden. Noah was to float around for quite some time without knowing where he would land when the waters dried up. Abraham was to go to another land to become the father of many people. Moses and the nation of Israel went from Egypt and captivity to freedom in the Promised Land. David did not stay a shepherd but became a king after fighting many battles. battles.
Whether we like it or not, life keeps us moving. For the most part, maybe we can see our moving in a postive light. When I was thinking of this title, I was thinking it in a good way. As tough and as hard as moving in life can be, we can trust that God is taking us to something better. For God to do His work in us, we need to give God opportunities to allow Him to do what He can do to help us.
If we decide to stay in bed all day, wallow in our sorrows, turn to bad habits like drugs and alcohol, we are not opening up ourselves fully to God’s guidance. When we try finding worldly ways to soothe ourselves, we are just digging a deeper hole for ourselves because now we have an addiction to overcome.
To be careful here, we will have times when we are sad and are feeling down. A lot of times in life have mixed emotions. We hardly have times that are totally filled with happiness, and on the other hand, we hardly have times that are filled with complete gloom and doom.
Moving out of a tough time is a process, and after a loss that process may be taking very little steps, but we need to keep moving to allow life to fix itself. Life does get us into tough times, but when we keep moving, God will take us to all good things that He gives us by His grace.
The best thing that we can do is to believe that Jesus is always moving along with us. The Apostles’ Creed shows us in a nutshell how Jesus moved when he was on this earth and how he is moving now. Every step that Jesus took from conception to his ascension into heaven was to give us forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
Again, not to go too much into the details of how a pastor prepares, but here we are just starting the Epiphany season, and I’ve been getting emails from companies that produce devotions that are asking if members are ready for Lent. I’m thinking that we just celebrated our Lord’s birth and now we are already thinking of Jesus as he makes his way to the cross. We do know that there were over three decades between Jesus’ birth and his death, but for us, we see it all happen in just a few months of the church calendar.
Jesus did keep moving to reach his goal, and because Jesus reached his goal to die and rise for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life, we live, breathe, move, and have our very being in all that Jesus has done for us. Through all the ups and downs of life, we keep moving, and by God’s grace in Christ, we can know that any time is the time to move on to all the good things that God has for us.