A Brief Theology of Moving

Just remember that every time you look up at the moon, I too will be looking at a moon. Not the same moon, obviously, that’s impossible.

Andy Dwyer, Parks and Recreation, from London to Pawnee, IN

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about moving, about having friends scattered across the country and around the world. If you read the blog, you’ve probably noticed. Getting ready to fly back to the East Coast today got me thinking about it. However, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and 1 Thessalonians have too. I’ve never noticed how much the epistles testify to gospel friendships stretched by moving but held together by God.

In 1 Thessalonians, Paul says:

For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?

Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

-1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

Moving is costly. I miss the friends I’ve gotten to see here. I’m sad to miss the friends who have moved themselves. I wish this baby could be born by family. When this baby is toddling around in a couple years, I wish he or she could toddle around the grandparents’ house more often. Moving costs us dearly.

Yet, as Christians, we share more than looking up at the same moon. We are trusting in the same God, following the same Lord, filled with the same Spirit. As Paul shows, we have someone to thank for the family and friends who mean more to us than words can say. We leave our loved ones in the hands of a God who loves them more than we ever could. He establishes all our hearts when we find it hard to leave. We look forward to the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

Without Christ, moving wouldn’t be worth it. Sure, there’s an adventure there, but there’s a community here. There’s a degree to be earned there, but there are endeavors to partner on here. Yet, we do have Christ. The same body is here and there. The same mission is here and there. The same gospel is here and there. For that gospel, we may need to be there, for now, but because of that gospel, we await the new heaven and the new earth, where there is no crying, and God dwells with us, and we all dwell with God.

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