Hiking with Jesus is our sermon series for January 7 – February 11, 2018.
We have filled our water bottles and hit the trail. We have remembered our baptisms and that Jesus ventured into the wilderness to the river to be baptized. As God called Jesus beloved, so does God say to each one of us ~
you are my beloved child ~
my beloved son ~
my beloved daughter ~
with you I am well pleased.
Water washed and spirit born,
we are ready to hit the trail.
What will the trail bring us: will it be
easy going and nice and flat. Will it have rough
terrain, steep inclines or unexpected snow?
What will we see along the way ~ beautiful mountains,
waterfalls, wildflowers and birds or evidence of human
destruction. When each disciple decided to hit the trail
with Jesus and accept his invitation,
when he said, “Follow me,”
did they know they would see both beauty and
grace along with injustice and hatred?
It is so easy to get bogged down in life ~ to carry
too many burdens ~ to worry too much. There is an
Indigo Girls song titled “The Girl with the Weight of the
World in Her Hands.” What are you
carrying in your hands that you need to
put down? What is keeping you
from joining the hike with Jesus?
We so easily fill any empty space we
have with stuff ~ more fabric when a
drawer is cleared, another toy when there
is space in the garage, turning on the TV just to fill the silence and
the time. In the process, we miss the view, the sacred spaces, and
the presence of the Spirit. We forget to breathe and take in
the view ~ to breathe deeply of God’s spirit.
When the trail gets too long and we get too tired or bored,
when it feels like we are never going to get that
spectacular view or impressive waterfall;
it is so easy to get into that mantra,
“Are we there yet?”
Or my favorite is asking others on the trail,
“How much further?”
“Is it worth it?”
Is it worth the struggle to
experience the grace?
We want results now ~ justice now ~ peace now. We lose our patience and say along with the psalmists
“How long, O Lord?”
God’s desire is the same. God keeps working with us
as we hike with Jesus to bring about the justice,
the peace, the love. As we hike the trail,
sometimes we just need to stop
and “listen to the wind,” and along with Jesus
be guided by the spirit and take the next step.
Rev. Wendy Joy Woodworth