By Larry d. Wright
“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side’.” Mark 4:35
By definition, transition is the passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another. It is a change involving a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another. The etymology of the word is Latin meaning “to go across.”
To the musician, transition is a modulation of a passage connecting two themes or sections. In genetics transition is a point mutation in which a pyrimidine is replaced by another pyrimidine, or a purine is replaced by another purine. In sports it is the process of changing from defense to offense or vice versa. In the writers world transition is a word, phrase, sentence, or series of sentences connecting one part of a discourse to another contributing to coherence. In medical terms it is a period during childbirth that precedes the final phase of labor, characterized by strong contractions. It is a period of intense pain that results in joyous birth.
In the spiritual realm it is an act of faith and obedience in which a person or people crossover into a realm of promised opportunity. As Joshua and the nation of Israel poised to enter the Promised Land, they waited for the precise moment that would end 40 years of anticipation and longing. That moment came and they waded into the swollen waters of the Jordan River with their eyes fixed on the ark, a beautiful picture of Jesus! Crossover moments in life are exciting but they can also be frightening.
On Sunday, February 1st I announced my intentions to retire from the pastoral ministry after 34 years and make the transition into another exciting mission opportunity. I have accepted a position with T.I.M.E. ministries in Huntsville where I will become actively involved in enlisting, training and deploying Great Commission Christians in an Acts 1:8 strategy around the world. As a result of this decision it is necessary that I resign my position as your pastor.
Debby and I have served as a ministry team for almost 39 years! The Lord has blessed us in many ways, among them is being able to serve two churches for lengthy tenures. As a result, we have only made 3 major decisions concerning God’s direction in our lives. The decision to cross over into a new and challenging mission field is exciting but we are deeply saddened because our love for First Baptist is deep and genuine. We covet your prayers and I can assure you that we are praying for you!
We learn in the Scriptures that following Jesus involves transitions. Crossover moments require faith and obedience. Jesus “said to His disciples, Let us cross over to the other side.” Even in the midst of a storm they hear the Master of the Sea speak: “Quiet! Be still!” The storm became quiet. The sea lay calm. They reached the other side. The disciples looked at one another in wonder, “Who is [this man] that the winds and waves obey Him?”
It is my sincere prayer for Debby and me and for First Baptist that, as we all “crossover” to new dimensions of service, our dependence upon Jesus will deepen and our awe will turn to adoration.