On Monday, I will pull out of Natchez and head upriver to Cleveland, MS, to pastor St. Luke United Methodist Church & Shipman Chapel. This final week as an Adams County resident and the pastor of Grace Untied Methodist Church has been one of the most delightful times I can remember. I've hung out with friends, put the finishing touches on moving, and had plenty of time to reflect on the past five years in this (a) city on a bluff and (b) church on a hill. I've realized something about myself that I didn't know:
I am really bad at saying goodbye.
Every time that I've had dinner or lunch with someone over the past few weeks, I've given them specific instructions not to use any variation of the word, "goodbye." This is a classic example of not practicing what one preaches. Ever since serving as a hospital chaplain in seminary, I've learned that it's important to say "goodbye." It's a word of finality and closure. It's a word that's supposed to help us move forward. Truth be told, I'm not sure I believe that so much anymore.
Instead, I'd like to adhere to the theology of George, Paul, Ringo, and John: "You say goodbye. I say hello. Hello, hello. I don't know why you say goodbye. I say hello."
I used to think that "Hello Goodbye" was a silly song, and this video makes it even sillier. But I was wrong. Sometimes our greatest revelations comes from seemingly silly songs. When Jesus told his disciples in John 17 that he was leaving them, he promised that when he said "goodbye" that the Holy Spirit would say "hello." Isn't the same true in life? In the midst of change, when old things are gone, new things come to pass. God reveals God's self in new ways. The "hellos" and "goodbyes" are not always easy and often involve tears. But the Beatles remind us with their wild suits that these transitions can also abound with joy.
Today, would you join me in saying not "goodbye" but "hello" to what God has ahead for each of us? I recommend starting that "hello" by spending time with the Beatles and this video. Know that I will continue to blog weekly from this site, www.darianduckworth.com, and look forward to connecting with you through this portal.
all good things, and "hellos" to each of you through Christ our Lord,