After fifteen years, Barbara and I made a move from Boston, MA to Charlottesville, VA in September 2011. The relocation involved a minor move from Arlington, MA to Dorchester, MA, and then finally to Charlottesville. But we experienced some frustration in adjusting our mail service from our home in Arlington to the PO Box in Boston I used for work, all the while not wanting to get mail sent to our temporary housing in Dorchester.
As you can appreciate, we had to do a lot of communication to family, friends, ministry partners, and vendors about our address change. There were constant efforts and lots of back and forth via mail, email, and phone…with subsequent notices like” “We will no longer be receiving mail at ‘such and such an address,’ but will be using this other address for the time being. Please make note of this change, so we can stay connected to each other.”
We had our share of miscommunication, but most of our bills got paid on time, and we stayed in touch with those we sought to stay engaged with. Yet it was not without its glitches, missed calls/emails, and mail.
Read Colossians 1:9-14.
One of my favorites New Testament letters, the apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 1:9-14 that followers of Jesus have a new address. He argued that we have been transferred by God’s grace into a new address, a new community. Paul said we were rescued from the kingdom of darkness and transplanted into the Kingdom of Light. Our mail used to be sent to sinner”soandso”@darkness.com. When we received Jesus as Savior and Lord, our new address became saved”soandso”@KingdomoftheSon.com. Paul wrote in his letter to the Christians at Philippi that “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).
Paul declared to the Philippians that we are citizens and residents of heaven, where Jesus lives. Based on our new identity, status, and safety, we are empowered and expected to live as God’s holy people, ambassadors of the risen King, light bearers of His glory and goodness.
We are no longer obligated to live life under the rules, power, and implications of our old address (see Romans 6:1-14). Our old address is declared shut down, inoperative, not usable. Our new address has been activated by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit. That means we have a fresh start – as well as supernatural power to live like residents of a new community of grace, truth, and trust.
Because we have a new address, it is assumed (and considerate) of us to communicate our change to others. We can tell about it over a meal, by phone, email, personal letter, or whatever means will help to accomplish the task at hand. We can mention it at the gym, over Skype, or on a walk to class. The key is to pass on what has happened to you without pause or neglect. The format and timing is up to you.
Not only is it considerate to tell the people closest to you of your change of address, it is a privilege and requirement of our new identity. To whom do you need to communicate your “change of address” in the next day, week, or month? Ask God for the courage to tell people in your life about your change.
Think theologically. Jesus is the ultimate Provider of salvation (see Acts 4:12). How can we live like one of His citizens, break out of our tendency to silence, and tell others to consider changing their address?
Love is a verb,
©2013 by Mike Olejarz