Looking Back, Living Forward

By Sandra Seaborn, Associate Priest
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One early morning, as I made my way downstairs to get some breakfast I was surprised to hear the sound of a chair scraping. My grandparents were staying with us, so I tried to be quiet as I walked over to the study to see what might be going on. There in my dad’s office was my grandfather, sitting in the armchair, Bible open on his lap, eyes closed. I tiptoed away, hoping my footsteps would not disturb him. 
I often think of this moment now, thirty years later, when I rise early in search of time for prayer and devotion. My grandfather was a significant example of faith in my life, someone whose actions aligned with his words; a person who had found peace in the midst of conflict (literally as well as spiritually, as he was a WWII chaplain). 
I look back to my experiences with him for guidance as I seek to live forward, continuing to walk faithfully with Jesus.
Maybe you had a person like my grandfather in your life. Maybe you did not. But what we all share are stories of people found in the first part of the Bible: the Hebrew or Old Testament section. Stories of people who learned, through trial and error, how to live for God in a confusing and troubling world.
In this sermon series, we will meet Daniel, who held fast when faced with work expectations that challenged his convictions. We will encounter Moses who sought help from his father-in-law after he felt overwhelmed by the volume of decision-making he had to do. We will find Joseph accused of impropriety, even while he was trying to live with integrity. We will join Nehemiah in his quest to rebuild while neighbours actively opposed his efforts. We will hear from Jeremiah, speaking to a people displaced who felt isolated and different. We will watch Esther as she navigates a political climate that threatens to obliterate her people. 
We will look back to the challenges faced by our faith-ancestors, so that we can learn to live forward in hope.