Pastor's Blog
May 23, 2015, 8:33 PM


Life is full of so many transitions.  I’ve seen quite a few, just in the last few years of my life!  In the last ten years, I graduated from high school, college, and graduate school.  My wife and I were married.  We now have two beautiful children.  And now, my family and I are transitioning into our new period of life in Montrose Pennsylvania. 

My wife and I are excited to see how God will have us live into his ministry in Montrose.  We'll be moving to Montrose during the week of June 29th, and beginning ministry there soon after.  We’re excited because we have already met so many spirit-filled children of God.  We are excited because of the energy that we can sense in the congregation to do new things for the kingdom of God.  We are excited because we feel that God is calling us to live and serve amongst the people of Susquehanna County, and we know that God is already giving us a deep love for First Presbyterian Church of Montrose. 

In many ways, God has had this time prepared for us for a while.  Isn’t it funny to look back in life and see all the ways that God has been working?  There are ways that we have seen God drawing us and leading us to Montrose.  FPCM supported my wife and I while I was in seminary.  Lackawanna Presbytery was the Presbytery through which I was ordained.  God is always speaking; if we’re willing to listen.

I think that, in many ways, transitions in life are one of the ways that God reveals how the miracle of the resurrection is embedded in creation.  You know about the resurrection, right?  Scripture tells us that Jesus' life was taken from him, yet three days later he rose again to new life.  The resurrection is what fills the Gospel with hope… it lets us know that no matter what happens, God is there with us.  The resurrection reminds us that there is always hope.  To me, life transitions are the end of one life and the beginning of another; a chance at resurrection.

Right now, we’re in the process of ending a wonderful time of ministry in Lavonia, Georgia.  My wife and I have been here for the last four years.  Both of our children were born here.  The people of Lavonia have blessed us tremendously, and we have come to love them deeply.  The fact is, leaving a place where you have been called by God to serve can sometimes be hard… it’s hard leaving the people who you care about so deeply.  You feel concern for those you will leave behind.  In many ways, it feels like a death.

But, in so many ways, I can see God’s spirit of resurrection at work.  My first years in ministry shaped me into the person that I am today… I’m quite a different pastor than I was four years ago!  I think I’ve learned quite a bit about my relationship with God, my relationship with my family, and my relationship with the Church.  I have explored and developed my preaching, I gained much more experience in pastoral care, and I can even do some administration!   It reminds me of the verse that says “therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation… the old is gone, behold, the new has come!”  When we’re “in” Christ, when we’re in communion with the Holy Spirit, God is always helping us to grow and to change and to mature.  It’s a constant, continual death and resurrection as we’re formed into the people that God created us to be.

At the end of my first mission trip, I was the last one to leave, and my mentor, Sam, and I rode to the bus stop to drop off my friend Chad.  As we drove away, he said to me, Jason… it’s hard because it’s not supposed to be like this.  It’s hard because we’re not supposed to leave one another… but that’s what we do.  But therein lies the ultimate hope of the resurrection.  By hoping in God, we have an ultimate hope.  We hope, and we trust, that God has something better in store for us.  We trust that death has been defeated.  We believe that we will throw off the shackles of this world and that we will experience new, full, real, life everlasting. 

Right now, I would like to ask for prayer.  My wife and I are in a time of transition.   My prayer is that God would give us the best transition out of Lavonia and into our new home in Montrose.  My prayer is that God would be with us in the commencement of our new ministry together, and together we would all grow more and more into the reality of the resurrection of Christ each and every day.