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How to Handle a Pastoral Transition - Rule #26

I have two very good friends - Chris and Edith.They live in Scotland and I guess I would call them best friends.I’ve known them for years and though we live 5,000 miles apart whenever I see them we pick up exactly where we left off.Let me use my friendship with them to help us navigate one aspect of what it’s like to be in a Pastoral transition.
Edith knows how to cook.The best.Delicious meals.Staying with them for a few days when I fly back from Kenya is a gastronomical delight.
Chris - God bless him.He thinks he can cook.But .....I flew in from Kenya one time (I travel there 4 times or so a year). You take a midnight flight out of Nairobi, land in London at 6am, grab a flight up to Scotland, visit my dad for a lunch and then I drive exhausted to just outside Perth and stay for a few days relaxing and debriefing from my Kenya trip.Exhausted after no sleep for 36hrs and a red eye flight I arrive at Chris & Edith's anticipating Edith's homemade steak pie - a Scottish delicacy!Chris meets me at the door announcing that Edith hasn’t cooked tonight - he has and he has made a fish pie!
Firstly: Did he say 'fish' pie?Secondly: If it has to be fish in a pie why let Chris be the one to cook that?Thirdly:  Again, why 'fish pie?' (Chris is from the Scottish islands and this is seemingly a thing there!)Fourthly:  What is going on? This is not what my arrival to Scotland is meant to be?Fifthly: Surely you know Chris that you can’t cook. I know I personally have told you this many times!
They remain my best friends only because I was able to find a dessert that Edith had made and stored in the freezer for a future occasion!
How to handle a Pastoral Transition Rule #26 .......All food comes from the providing hand of God.
You might prefer steak, but fish is also good.You might prefer fish not in a pie - but try it and you might be surprised.And ....... you might prefer Edith's cooking, but Chris's cooking still quelled your hunger.
And, in case you are missing the point, the subtle point .....
Sundays during our pastoral transition sees us having new and differing voices preaching.During the next few months we will have several new guest preachers.Some you may prefer over others.Some you might think are like a delicious steak pie.Some might be more fish pie-ish.
I know this might not be how the good people of Crosswalk are, but in a previous church where I was the Senior Pastor, we made the decision to never share who was preaching each week as we discovered that some people had their 'favorites' and they would stay away the other weeks.
Somehow they missed the fact that when God's Word was opened and His Truth proclaimed - the messenger is but a messenger.The steak pie or the fish pie is not the messenger - the steak pie and the fish pie is the hearers being addressed by God who both speaks and acts in his Word.The preacher stands under the Word of God.There is a marvelous miracle happening every Sunday when whoever opens God's Word.The written Word is read, he or she then shares some spoken words and through them all, and despite them all - the living Word, even the Son, Jesus Christ, is revealed and is present.
I believe in preaching - steak or fish pie!I believe in preaching - not because of the eloquence or the style of the preacher - but because of the livingness of God's Word.
So, let's apply Rule #26, and every Sunday, whoever is the guest or staff preacher, may we come knowing that we will hear from God and encounter His presence through the written and spoken Word.
This Sunday we are delighted to have Roger Edrington be our guest preacher.Roger was the Senior Pastor of Central Christian Church, San Jose.We know him through our friends at William Jessup University where he was the Executive VP and Director of Multi-Cultural Education and a Board member.Roger was also a missionary in England where he earned a Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Birmingham.Thank you Roger for driving down from the Coastal hills to serve among CCC.
Enjoy whatever pie comes this Sunday!Gilbert

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