“New Land, New Life” Pastor Stephen Sanders 07-11-21


We stand on the edge of a new season. For the last year-and-a-half, we have lived through the season of COVID. Much of my interaction with the congregation has been through online worship and Zoom.

Last week, due to the dramatically-improved situation in Austin, Oak Hill moved into our final stage of reopening. The choir sang live and in-person in the sanctuary. Yea!

This week, we will welcome two new pastors. Rev. Missy Jenson will serve as Pastor of Discipleship. Rev. Ryan Jenson will serve as Pastor for Youth and Young Adults. After a long first year for me at Oak Hill, it feels like we stand on the verge of new possibilities.

In our scripture passage for this week (Joshua 3:14-17; 4: 4-7), the people of Israel stand at a similar point. After a brutal life of slavery in Egypt, followed by 40 years wandering through the wilderness, the Jewish people stand on the edge of the Promised Land.

What does the future hold in store for them? For us?

Rarely do we know what the future holds in store. We have hopes. We have dreams and expectations.  Sometimes they are realized; other times they are not.

While we do not know exactly what the future holds for us, the Christian faith asks us to trust the One who accompanies and leads us into the future.

Sometimes we face challenges as we step into the future. For the Israelites, it was a flooding Jordan River. For us, it may be a situation in the world or a concern about a relationship or finances. As a church, we’ll face challenges of gathering together again after a long time apart. Despite the obstacles we face, through the Holy Spirit, God moves and stirs within this world to lead us through challenges and into the future.

Join us for worship this week, either online or in-person, as we welcome new pastors and worship the God who leads us into new seasons of life.
Pastor Stephen