Pastor’s Page – August 2020

Traveling Our Journey of Faith

               On the bulletin board in my office at Canonicus there’s a cartoon that features a couple riding in a gondola. Sharks swim next to the gondola as it makes its way along a spooky-looking tunnel. The only light comes from a lamp that’s attached to a skull on the front of the gondola, and the gondolier appears to be the grim reaper. The wife turns to the husband and says, “OK, so sometimes it is the destination and not the journey.”

            I’ve hung onto that cartoon because the words “it’s the journey not the destination that matters” so often come out of my mouth. While I really do believe that, the cartoon reminds me that traveling life’s journey—especially a journey of faith—involves so much more than repeating a simple phrase.

            On Sunday mornings during August, we will reflect on what we might learn along the journey we travel with God. We also will hear from members of the congregation as they share about the journeys they have traveled—individually and as part of this community of faith—during the past year.

            For now, I invite you to think about your own journey of faith. Do you sense a need to start—or restart—that journey? Would you like your journey to have a new sense of energy or move in a different direction?

In the gospels, Jesus often says the same thing to people about their journeys of faith. He simply invites them to come along the journey with him.

Jesus doesn’t say, “Come, be a Christian” or “Come, embrace this theology” or “Come, do ministry this way.” He says, “Come, follow me.” Perhaps that call will be helpful as we think about our faith journey.

I agree with the writer who notes that when many of us think about “our calling,” we think of “something we’re supposed to do or some career God may be asking us to take up.” But, as the writer adds, the Bible “is amazingly unanxious about all of that.” One calling comes first—to follow Jesus. In responding to that call, we can find “a huge freedom to do what we do best, to do what we love best.”

            Think about how often Jesus called people while they were doing what they did best. For many of his first disciples, it was fishing. Jesus offered to transform their fishing into something new—something that would become a way to live rather than just a way to earn a living.

Jesus offered to teach them to fish for people. But what if they hadn’t been fishermen? Might Jesus’ call have come in a different way?

If they’d been carpenters, might Jesus have invited them to follow him and become builders of God’s reign? If they’d been doctors, might Jesus have invited them to become healers of people’s souls? If they’d been weavers, might Jesus have invited them to weave a tapestry of love? If they’d been mechanics, might Jesus have invited them to repair broken lives?

Maybe we can hear Jesus invite us to join him along the journey and to share in God’s work right where we are, doing right what we do. We don’t have to wait to travel our journey until we become something or someone else. Instead, we are free to bring the best of who we are and what we do.

I will look forward to hearing about your journeys of faith. I also am grateful to be able to travel a portion of that journey with you.

                                                                                                Grace and peace,

                                                                                                Kathryn

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