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“The Bright Edge of the Garden”


As you read the “Transition Corner” at the end of “The Weekly,” each week you’ll see evidence that we are mere steps away from entering our Mission Outpost on Hoadly Road. While the challenge of obtaining final permits prevents us from having a clear timeline, the exciting moment of walking through those doors is an approaching reality. The packed boxes beginning to fill our current church office is more evidence of this nearly realized hope! So be encouraged with this truth: We soon will be moving into the building, which will indeed be a sacramental move into God’s future for Immanuel.


In preparation for that day, I’m going to take the next few Sundays to remind us of our vocation. This week we will focus on our name and our mission—“Immanuel: God with us…for the sake of others.” We’ll briefly trace this vocation from the Garden to the New Jerusalem, consider how it flows to and through Jesus, and rediscover our place in that flow here in Northern Virginia.


The following three weeks we will reflect on each of the primary ways we experience and express life with God: Worship. Grow. Serve.


Throughout these four weeks we’ll also hear from individuals within our church community of how Immanuel has shaped them. They will be living letters expressing how your gifts of gratitude, trust, and partnership have helped form followers of Jesus who worship, grow, and serve our Father by the Holy Spirit.


These weeks of waiting and transition can be wearying, but remain confident that we are standing “at the bright edge of the garden, at the golden edge of dawn, at the glowing edge of spring” (Andrew Peterson). A few weeks ago, Chloellen Miller shared these words from one of Paul’s letters, and I share them again in this season of waiting and giving:


Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely. (2 Thessalonians 1:10-12, The Message).


He gives, we receive, we give. The flow of our relationship with God and each other continues!


Your Pastor in Christ,