Rev. Dr. Claudette A. Copeland's last sermon in active pastoral ministry at NCCF. December 2017, 11am service.
Pastor Copeland believes that every relationship deserves a decent farewell, every transition deserves a decent parting. Even Jesus honored farewells with parting words, final lessons or closing deeds. This is important so both parties can have an understanding, and know what is expected. Acts 20:13-38 recounts the Apostle Paul’s farewell to the Ephesian Elders. In his parting words he tells them to “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” In his final greetings to the Corinthians Paul offers a few lessons. “Finally, brothers and sisters,” he says. “Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace.” Parting words give definition to the next thing.
Pastor believes that one of the reasons why we may struggle in our effort to live well for Jesus may very well be because we have never given parting words to our past life. We cannot be Christians saying yes to the Holy Ghost without saying goodbye to the world. Every relationship deserves a real farewell in order to get on to the next thing. If we strive to have a fresh start, to move on to the next level of our relationship with Jesus, we must say farewell to the devil.