I was sitting in the parking lot of the cemetery when my niece called to discuss her wedding which is this weekend. It was a welcome relief to shift from the heaviness of grief over death to the joyful celebration of marriage. While some transitions grandly capture our attention, other smaller transitions unfold subtly and almost escape notice.

Graduations, new jobs, new babies, new house, and retirement are all milestones to mark with a card or a party. But when we realize we are losing some physical strength due to aging, that is more subtle. Or when we realize our kids have shifted their focus to teenage friends instead of mom and dad, that poses a new challenge to our parenting role. Or when good friends move away or pass away we realize our social circle is diminished. Or when society shifts its cultural practices and we feel unmoored.

With every transition comes a bit of sadness and a bit of an opportunity. I remember when my son was a toddler and he didn’t like the transition at the end of the day from preschool to home. I knew he didn’t like it because when we pulled into the driveway he would begin to cry. I couldn’t get him out of the car seat and into the house. He simply screamed. When I was about to call in professional help, the behavior stopped. I never figured out why!

But toddlers are not the only ones that struggle with transitions. We all know that with each transition comes a bit of grief and a bit of possibility for new life. Paul writes to the people of Corinth “we shall all be changed”. He writes to them not only of the future with God but of the present with God. The challenge of this life is to pay attention to where God is in our myriad of transitions. How is the Spirit shaping us? How is God with us? How is Jesus comforting us or challenging us to become someone new?

I’m grateful for the wisdom of our community of faith. Here in the church, we accompany each other through these bold and subtle transitions. We hold one another up and point toward the grace of God who illumines our path. Singing the ancient songs and reciting the trusted prayers, we sense a love that will not let us go.

Grace and Peace,