This is a season of beginnings and endings. As British poet T.S. Eliot reminds us beginnings and endings are connected.
What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning.
No. 2 of “Four Quartets”
First and Faith have a new beginning this year in worshipping and dwelling together in one building, but it is an end to an era of worship in the building at Faith. It is a new beginning for me to be senior pastor/pastoral staff for UM4GI, but you are still grieving the ending of your time with Jay Vetter and Maureen and the excellent leadership they brought. The Great Plains Conference will begin (August 22-24), but it is an ending of 152 years of the Nebraska Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and the Kansas East and Kansas West Conferences. We experience new beginnings in the lives of our pastoral staff. We celebrate the wonderful joy of the beginning of life of Cora Boling, born June 28, but it is the end of time for Jude to be an only child. When my family moved into the house we bought in Grand Island (a new beginning), purple, lavender, and white irises were blooming, but the rains quickly brought their ending. Yet, the bulb holds the promise that they will bloom again next year as the “Hymn of Promise” says:
In the bulb there is a flower…In our end is our beginning, in our time infinity / in our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity. / In our death a resurrection, at the last a victory, / unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
In our beginnings and our endings and every transition of our lives, God is with us—who brought forth life and creation, who was present in the birth of Jesus, whose ending turned out to be the beginning, a resurrection, of the unleashing of hope and new beginnings offered to each of us again and again each season of beginnings and endings, each new day through Jesus Christ, whose ending is our beginning.