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Changing the Light

A farewell post from pastoral intern Joel Hinck | 

When Liz Bailey (Messiah's fantastic Co-Director of Children's and Family Ministries) ends a Godly Play session, she puts out a candle that has been burning the whole time and says something quite striking. Instead of telling the children that she is "putting out" the candle, she tells them that she is "changing the light." "The light isn't going away," she tells them, "but it is changing so that it can go with us. The smoke that drifts away from the candle reminds us that the light goes with us, because God goes with us."

This idea came to mind as I was reflecting on the end of my internship here at Messiah. It has been a wonderful year, full of new experiences, amazing people, growth, and learning. Now it is time to move on, and that's hard. But maybe I'm not really leaving Messiah at all (or, put the other way, Messiah isn't really leaving me). Maybe we're just "changing the light." All the things I have experienced in the past year are going to be a permanent part of who I am and how I do ministry going forward. I may not be in the same place, but I will still be drawing from all that the people of Messiah have shared with me. In a real sense, all of you will be coming with me to Kansas on a new adventure.

When I think about Messiah's commitment to interns over the years, I can see just how much light Messiah has shared with the world. You have been encouraging and equipping pastoral and summer interns who have gone so many places carrying the light you shared with them. A light that is never put out, only changed—sent into the world to be a beacon for Christ's love.

While we may not see each other again in the same way we did this year, we will continue to be connected by the experiences we've shared and our love for Jesus. May God be with us all as he guides the changing of the light.

With love and gratitude,

Intern Pastor Joel 

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