“I don’t like change,” I wrote in a previous editorial. Since transitions include change, I don’t like transitions much either. Transitions are difficult and scary times, since the future often seems unclear.
I write this during a time of transition for Reformed Worship and its publisher, Faith Alive Christian Resources. For Faith Alive, financial struggles recently led to staff reductions. It’s a transition for those who have left us and for those who remain as we figure out how to continue our work without the hard-working folks who played significant roles on our team. One of the people whose position was eliminated was Sandy Swartzentruber, Reformed Worship’s managing editor. Sandy has graciously agreed to finish up this issue and may even be contracted to continue as managing editor, so we won’t say goodbye quite yet.
Like I said, transitions are tough because the future is unknown. Reformed Worship has always been seen as a ministry of Faith Alive—a resource that doesn’t quite pay its own way, but one we’ve been committed to providing for the church. But given Faith Alive’s current challenges, RW cannot carry on this way. What does that mean for the future of RW? I don’t know. It is difficult to write this editorial without answers, but I trust that answers will come. I encourage you to look online for part 2 of this editorial, which I will write when this issue is published so I can update you.
As I was thinking about this issue of Reformed Worship and about our current transitions, I wondered how the disciples felt during one of the greatest times of transition Christians have ever known: the period between Ascension and Pentecost. Were they anxious? When Jesus left, he promised them that “another” would come. But what would this comforter be like? How would it come? So many questions. Did the disciples fully understand that Christ was sitting at the right hand of the Father and already interceding on their behalf, or was that something they learned in hindsight? Did they find comfort in knowing that Christ, in his resurrected, physical body, was in heaven just as we will be someday?
Transitions are difficult. How do we make it through? How did the disciples make it through? We make it through by faith—faith in both the seen and the unseen. Faith that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God. Jobs come and go, periodicals get reshaped, publishing companies don’t exist forever; all very difficult and reasons to grieve. But the Word of the Lord, the presence of the Comforter, the promises of Scripture—those things are forever, and in them we trust.
To be continued . . .