Transitions

Richard Burgess, 10.07.2021

Life is full of transitional moments, all varying in degrees of importance. Some come about through the different stages of life, others through a change of circumstances, still others through crises which could be related to health, age, the loss of a job or someone close to us.

The danger is we don’t recognise them and therefore we are unable to properly respond to them whether personal, work related or church related. If we don’t recognise the danger is we muddle through them for good or bad.

We need to discern those times.

Recently speaking on Exodus 18, I was reminded of the importance of such moments. Many commentators refer to it as a transitional chapter, closing the drama of the first seventeen chapters of Exodus, and setting things up for what is to follow in the giving of the law, and the ratifying of the Covenant at Mount Sinai.

Yet, there is more. 1, There is a transitional moment in the life of Jethro, Moses father-in-law, the priest of Median, where upon hearing the testimony of Moses regarding all that God had done for Israel in delivering them from Pharaoh and the challenges they faced, he comes to a full and joyful faith in Yahweh, the God of Israel, as the one true and living God. 2, there is a transitional moment in life of Moses when Jethro confronts him about how much he’s doing, that results in him delegating responsibility to others. 3, this leads to a transitional moment in the life of Israel in how they think of and relate to Moses and those he appoints.

Every transition is an opportunity for transformation. This was one for Moses, Jethro and the people of God. It was in New Testament language, a Kairos moment. May be you are in one at the moment.

Every transitional moment is a reminder that life is not static, no matter how old we are. That life is a classroom providing opportunities to learn and grow, both individually and corporately as the people of God.

Transitional moments also provide us with an opportunity to think afresh about how we think about ourselves, to reconsider and revise our image of ourselves.

Transitional moments provide opportunities for testing, shaping, rethinking and reforming the way we relate to others.

Transitional moments also challenge the way we think about the world we inhabit and how we relate to it and do what we do.

The key to those moments was hearing God in the testimony of Moses and the wisdom of Jethro. How good are you at hearing God?

Jethro reconsidered his story in the light of Moses testimony and put his trust in the God of Israel.

Moses reconsidered his life and ministry, and how he related to and served the people of Israel in the light of his father-in-laws wisdom.

Israel had to change the way they thought about Moses and his ministry, and the institution of a wider ‘pastoral team,’ in light of the changes Moses introduced.

So, what about you, are you in a place of transition?

How willing are you to hear God through someone close to you?

How well have you adapted and changed through transition?

How has it changed the way you think about yourself and others in your world?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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