I once went on a holiday in the lakes with a group of girls I knew. Every day they would bounce out of bed, planning a walk with enthusiasm and anticipation. I would reluctantly tag along. I hate walking! I can do about an hour and that feels enjoyable, after that, unless there is a destination and reason for not taking the car or bus, I’ve had it! On one particular day of the holiday, we marched off with me reluctant at the back and after an hour I just said, "ok, I’ve had enough now". They looked at me with shock and concern. ‘Are you ok?’
"Yes, absolutely" I replied.
I spent a merry afternoon, nosing around old churches, reading my book in the sun and contemplating life as the clouds drifted overhead. After three hours they returned, rosy cheeked, and ready for a cuppa, which of course I readily joined them in.
The Christian life is not about pottering around old buildings, or lying on our backs, watching the world go by, although there are seasons for that. It is a journey; we are moving. But unlike my friend’s rambles in the lakes, it isn’t a circular path; we have a destination.
If we sit down, give up because the path is difficult or daydream in the grass, life may be peaceful and less strenuous, but we’ll ultimately miss out, not just on the incredible journey and the company we’re in, but the glorious destination.
Our destination is the Kingdom of Heaven.
In these Covid times, we perhaps as a Western Church, face restrictions we haven’t faced in hundreds of years. We’re used to meeting when we like, how we like, with whom ever we like. It’s a shock that our journey just got a lot steeper. We’re not used to it. We like our faith on a plate, served up every Sunday, with very little effort on our part. At this moment, a year on from Lockdown One, we’ll be tempted to give up, turn back, sit down and believe that it’s not worth the struggle.
Our next teaching series takes us into the book of Hebrews. Hebrews was written to a community where people were tempted to give up. Being a Christian, had become for some, too costly, too difficult, and too much effort. The writer reminds them that Jesus is worth following at any cost, even death! He reminds them of the good news of Jesus and his victory over all obstacles and difficulties that we may face, even death. The author pleads with them to stay on the path, grab the hands of those struggling and fix their eyes on their final destination.
It’s my hope and prayer, that during this season, our eyes will be reopened, like when we first saw Him! To see that He goes before us, and behind us. He has cleared the path for us to take and He waits for us in our future. He is worth it!
Let us pray together, and for each other, for a filling of the Spirit to bring a fresh determination to stay on the path in these rocky times.
Mission and Outreach Pastor