Summary: When you find yourself standing on new ground (change/transition) here are some things you need to remember.
Standing On New Ground
(This sermon was preached the day before we constituted as a new church)
Intro: Show a clip from the Wizard of OZ where Dorothy and Todo are whisked away by the tornado. Stop the clip after she says, "We’re not in Kansas anymore."
Transition: Sometimes we find ourselves in the midst of a change or transition and we have said like Dorothy and Toto, “We’re not in Kansas anymore.”
In Genesis chapter 6 through 9 you find one of the most familiar stories in the Bible. Now if we are not careful we miss out on some very important truths. It is a very sobering story about God’s judgment on man’s wickedness. As the story goes Noah (who seems to be the only righteous person on the earth) and his family are spared from a catastrophic flood that wipes out everything on the planet. Noah is commanded to build a huge ark for he, his family, and a pair of every living creature on the earth. He does what God tells him to do and finally the rains come down. Everything outside of the ark was destroyed—men, women, boys, girls, trees, etc. For over a year Noah and his family and all these animals set sail not knowing where they are going. After the water recedes they come to rest on Mount Ararat. When everything is safe and o.k. God calls them out of the ark. They step out and they are in a new place.
Transition: Sometimes we find ourselves standing on new ground. We find ourselves in a place or situation we are not used to being in. Or we find ourselves standing before a new opportunity that God has given us. Whether we arrive there via tornado, boat, job transfer, loss of a loved one, we all go through transitions in life. Many of you will find yourselves standing on new ground when you are deployed somewhere else. Others of you will be standing on new ground when that new bundle of joy comes. We can’t forget that we as a church will be standing on new ground after tomorrow evening when we constitute as a new church! It is exciting but it is also unfamiliar. As many of you know New Community Church was started over 18 months ago. Man, I was so excited and yet so scared about what was going to happen. I knew this was a God thing but it was new to me. It was also new to several of you who became a part of NCC in it’s early months. I know many of you were wondering like I was how this was all going to work out. Yet, we are able to look back on these 18 months and see how God has taken care of us.
You see, that is important to remember when you are facing something new, a transiton, something outside of what you are used to. There might be a lot of things different about your situation but there will always be some things that remain the same. For instance, if you move you will probably take your family with you, your favorite recliner, etc. Those are some things you can count on. You might not know how that new job is going to work out but you do know there will be some kind of normalcy. Well, here are some things you can count on in the midst of a transition.
You can count on God’s promises and care. Read with me Genesis 6:18, 8:1. Noah and his family didn’t know what to expect while they were in that ark but they did know God was going to take care of them. Now this is important to remember because things can get pretty hectic and crazy during transitions. Let’s be honest, it was a tough year for Noah and his family. They didn’t know what kind of timeline they were on. They didn’t know where they were going to end up. Let’s be honest to, that ark must have smelled horrible! Yet, they knew God cared for them. I would imagine based on what we know about Noah that Noah was the one to remind his family of God’s care. Even after they saw that the ground was drying they had to stay in the boat unto the Lord called them out. Why did he do that? Because he was watching out for them and keeping them from harm.
God has certainly cared for us at New Community Church for these 18 months. He has cared for us by answering our prayers, by blessing us with great people, by giving us awesome resources. He has blessed us by giving us open doors for ministry in places like Bridge Pointe Landing. He has blessed us with an incredible opportunity to own a very expensive piece of property for almost nothing!