We’ve been in our new house for 10 days, but yesterday marked an official beginning. My husband’s induction service took place yesterday whereby he was handed the mantle of minister.
For me, it only sunk in yesterday. The sense of both start and of finish. Saying goodbye to old friends yesterday was hard; previously our ‘goodbyes’ had not held much finality for me – but yesterday they did, and I was struck by the reality that we and our previous congregation are now journeying separately, no longer close together.
This morning my husband led and preached at this church – his first service as minister. And we begin. Now we move to a next stage of the journey with new companions, who will no doubt become dear to us, as those who have travelled with us before.
It is still a journey – movement, transition. Our lives, perhaps, have more of a sense of this than some, as we move through ministry as the Holy Spirit leads – and this can, as it has done this year, meant a shift of place and circumstance.
But it is true for all of us. Our lives touch, be it only for a moment or for an extended period – hearts grazing one another as we endure suffering and share joy.
We do not forget those who have travelled with us before; we treasure them – but I am aware that we need to embrace tightly those who are with us now and not hold back. Each person, old and new, has made and will make a difference to our lives.