“They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, He has prepared a city for them.” – Hebrews 11:13b-16
Writing of the faith of men and women before the coming of Jesus, Hebrews describes the journey that they and we are on. In Hebrews 12, in light of God’s work in Christ, we find the call to run the race of our faith, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, both the source of our hope and the one who will bring our faith to perfection.
This journey image is powerful as we consider the challenges of living out our faith together in these present times of change. Like the Lewis and Clark expedition which found that to continue their mission, they had to abandon their canoes for new ways forward into the uncharted territory, we at Memorial Baptist continue to explore our way forward as a church.
The thought that comes to mind today as we continue to unpack that rich imagery is the need to keep moving, keep exploring.
As we try new things as a church family, while keeping our purpose and mission in Christ fixed in view, some things will pan out in unexpected ways, like the Yarnians or Stone Soup. Other things we try may not take off immediately, or may go for a while and come to an end. Sometimes it’s because something just didn’t work, or needed tweaking. Other times, it did exactly what it was supposed to do for that given time.
Even when we prayerfully seek to follow Jesus, not everything will be smooth and clear cut – even when we are listening and following to the best of our ability. What will happen is that God connects the threads of our obedience to open up new opportunities to grow and serve together. One trail taken leads to another, and then another.
A friend of mine in ministry puts it this way: it’s a lot easier to turn a ship that’s in motion than one which is standing still.
Not that we are frantically overpacking our schedules in a frenzy of all the good things we could be doing with our church, our families, our friends and selves, but intentionally considering how we are going to invest our time as part of the community God has created us for.
This summer, how will we look for where the Spirit of God is at work in our church and community, and how will we choose to be a part of that?
Blessings on the Journey,