The In 1967 the Beatles launched the song “Hello Goodbye” which appeared in the film “magical mystery tour.” You may, or more likely, may not be interested to know that the ‘B’ side of the record was “I am a walrus”!
September was a time of “Hello Goodbye” for many at my church as we said hello to those returning from holiday and goodbye to those about to go to, or return to university. That got me thinking about the seasons which we all go through – the comings and goings of life and ministry, the wonderful mystery tour of faith.
The fact that change happens is undeniable and unstoppable, there is no doubt about that. But it’s how we react to the “hellos” to new challenges and the “goodbyes” of the familiar that matter.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 famously reminds us that “there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven.”
Seasons come and go in our churches, seasons of growth, seasons of outreach, seasons of prayer, etc. Church life keeps moving on and it is important that we embrace this constant going forward willingly and are ever open to God for the next step. Maybe it would be good to think for a while where your church is, the journey to its present and consider the next stages of change.
Seasons occur in our private lives too, causing us joy, concern, anxiety, excitement and a whole host of emotions. It tests our resolve to trust God and put our faith afresh in him. Our own personal experiences also affect our ministry and the way we react to those around us making it even more important that we go through these seasons in confident hope and trust in our living, loving God.
I began this article with a pop song but I will end it with the words of an old hymn based on Psalm 34, written by the poet Nahum Tate, “Through all the changing scenes of life, in trouble and in joy, the praises of my God shall still my heart and tongue employ.”