“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1
This passage from St. John’s Gospel has taken on a new meaning for me as we begin our search for a new rector. Recall that immediately preceding this verse, the disciples have finished the Last Supper, Jesus has washed their feet, and then proceeds to drop three bombshells. He tells the disciples that he is leaving them, that one of them will betray him, and that Peter will deny that he even knows Jesus three times. Their world just got turned upside down. One can imagine their emotional reaction: anxiety, fear of the unknown future, and a devastating sense of loss.
Jesus then offers the remedy for their distress. He tells them to believe in God and believe in Him. He assures them that trusting that God will always be with them will ease their pain and give them the inner strength to face an uncertain future with confidence and an abiding faith.
I am sure that many of you are feeling concern and apprehension, as I do, as we approach the departure of the man who has served us so faithfully as our rector for so many years. That is why I find this passage from St. John so powerful and meaningful. It teaches us that as long as we believe that God will be with us as we feel the sorrow of saying goodbye to Luis, our hearts will not be troubled. That same faith will also help us to open ourselves to the joy of welcoming a new rector to lead us into the next chapter in the life of St. John’s Church. Thanks be to God.