One year ago, I was saying good-bye to the people with whom I had prayed, laughed, cried, grieved, grown, learned, eaten, worshiped, meetinged, retreated, camped, sang, holidayed, and worked for seven years. Seven years is a long time in ministry. New babies were born who were in elementary school by the time I left. Young children had entered the youth program. Those who started the youth program with me had moved onto college. Relationships changed as some people met and fell in love. Some people married and some people divorced. Some people who loved the church died and we grieved together and we remember them. Wonderful new people joined the church in those seven years. And some people left too. So much happened in those seven years.
Today, I’m preparing for a beginning. Starting on October 1, I will be the Director of Cooperative Youth Ministry at Christ Congregational Church (UCC) and Takoma Park Presbyterian Church (PCUSA). I’m looking forward to this new opportunity and the many possibilities ahead. I’m excited to focus my energy on youth! I’m ready to plan mission trips, Sunday night gatherings, retreats, and so much more.
Whenever I think of endings and beginning this quote from Hope Floats also comes to mind. “Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will, too…”
I know that most of life is the ordinary or in between time, and yet today I’m thinking about how both endings and beginnings are an important part of our journey too.
Let us pray-
God of beginnings, endings, and all the times in between, I wonder what you were thinking as you created all that we know. Beginning are scary and exciting because a big blank space of possibility is before us. In moments of beginning, remind us we are your beloved and even if we fail you love us still.
Faithful God, Endings are hard. It hurts to say good-bye to those we love. We grieve endings. Let us grieve, Loving God, for some endings are forever and others were necessary. In moments of ending, remind us we are your beloved and even as our hearts break you love us still.
Eternal God, Much of our lives are the times in between-going to school or work or having nowhere to go, wondering what to eat for our next meal, paying bills, doing homework…In the midst of the ordinary, open our eyes to the extraordinary gift of life. Let us hear laughter and stories. Let us see smiles and tears. Let us smell bread breaking and flowers blooming. Let us taste foods that delight us. Let us feel love from you and all those we love. In the times between, remind us we are your beloved and everyday has the possibility of beginnings, endings, and ordinary times. Amen.