Transition is all around us. Even this week, we went from Summer temperatures and humidity on Wednesday to more Fall-like weather today. We are constantly adjusting, changing, accommodating and being tested to determine our true character. Who are you when things don't go your way?
Our Scripture this week is from Genesis 50. Jacob, the father of 12 boys, has died and now, Joseph, the most powerful man in the Middle East has the ability to take revenge upon his brothers who tried to kill him. What will he do? What would you do? Your answer reveals the true depth of your character and your view of God.
There's that old saying, "You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family." One of my favorite shows of all time was "All in the family" with Archie Bunker, Edith, Gloria and Meathead. You couldn't have put more unlikely people together and they said things to each other that were astonishing, rude, mean and often unnecessary. But I think that's why many of us liked it, because it was raw and it took the events and attitudes of the times and put a humorous twist on them.
In our passage this week, Genesis 49, Jacob blesses his 12 sons. All these boys had the same father but 4 different mothers. That right there has the potential to create some drama. Anyway, God uses these boys to create the 12 tribes of Israel and a nation. We will look at them and see what they have to say to us regarding our period of transition. What lessons can we learn that will help us continue to move forward.
Archie Bunker on why America is great: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALE6ENavvJQ
I've been watching the Vietnam War Documentary this week and was surprised at one point to discover that the beginnings of this war went all the way back to 1930. Top Secret information was leaked that detailed the difficulties of engaging in a conflict in that part of the world. So, beginning with Herbert Hoover all the way to Richard Nixon, each president had to evaluate the wisdom of fighting communism(evidently the goal of Vietnam) in an armed conflict in Asia. In each transition, information was passed from one president to another. Heads of CIA, FBI, NSA, ETC....were informed and each leader made their own decisions and evaluations of U.S. resources and the risks involved.
We are in the midst of a transition here at Hebron with the PNC seeking a new pastor. I don't think there will be a meeting between myself and the next pastor where I will pass on secret information but they will get to know you as I have done, learn the history of the church and then, by God's grace and guidance, lead Hebron for several years.
In the meantime, this Sunday we will be having a Fall Celebration with games, a petting zoo and an opportunity to get involved in the life of Hebron. I'll begin my series on transitions by preaching from passages in Genesis 25, 27 and 35 about the transition from Isaac to Jacob and Esau. What lessons can we learn from their mistakes and their wisdom?
It's always dangerous when a pastor goes on a retreat because he comes back with new ideas to inflict on his congregation. Tracy and I returned from Papua New Guinea not necessarily with new ideas but a desire to reinforce an old one. The idea that bringing Christ to the ends of the world is what we were made for. We were so impressed with missionaries that have devoted their lives to translating the Bible into the indigenous languages of Papua New Guinea. There are 900 spoken tongues in this small country and 300 still need work to begin so that they can hear God speak to them in the language of their heart.
These missionaries are not all translators, but many are mechanics, accountants, teachers, administrators and more. They are there to support the work of translation but their work is no less important.
This Sunday I am preaching on Revelation 7 which gives a vision of all that will be in attendance at the great celebration of the Lamb. It's a picture of people - every language, race and color of people who have put their faith in Jesus Christ - joining with the angels in worshiping our Savior.