There was a time when most pastoral moves were easier on the congregation than on the clergy family. Denominational officials used to be able to handle pastoral calls and appointments as a game of musical chairs; Alice leaves seminary and goes to church A, Henry leaves church A and goes to the slightly bigger church B, Kim leaves church B and goes to a position in the denomination’s head office. Note that in the past, change meant change in pastors. Today change means new roles and new relationships for both parties. While you, as the pastor, are praying and prodding yourself and your family through the mess of moving, your parishioners may be preparing for an even more challenging change.
The New Reality
There is strange contrast between Matthew’s telling of the first Easter and John’s. For John, seeing the miracles of Jesus requires faith. In each of John’s so called ‘signs,’ two people stand side by side seeing the same thing, and one believes and the other doesn’t. Like the wedding of Cana, the servants who pour the water that has become wine, believe and see. The master of the feast doesn’t see and thinks that some strange trick has been done, causing the best wine to come last. So John tells every miracle, dividing the seeing and believing from the merely confused.