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This Is The Way, Walk In It

I was ordained in 2008, when I was 54 years old, about nine years after I started seminary and began this part of my life.  Over the years we’ve served several churches and helped revitalize, rebuild and restore and maintain congregations and buildings.  I’ve attended workshops and trainings on church starts and church growth and learned lots of ways to make people feel more welcome: signage, sound systems, music, greeters, all good stuff.  We wanted people to be part of the church, help us grow, make a difference in the community and in the world by making disciples for Jesus.  

When we follow the Jesus revealed in Scripture those sorts of thing can help, but they can get in the way.  We can think we are making disciples by getting the signage right.  

I have a lot to think about, and a lot to learn with this, and one of the many things I have learned from our Way of Life of discipleship is to simplify.  

Recently a devotional I’m using brought up Isaiah 30: 18-21 as an example of God calling us to listen for Him.  The backstory is the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, and some folks want to try to escape and go to Egypt for safety.  The Lord through Isaiah tells them not to do it, they will not be safe, but will find death instead.  

After the warning, here is the Scripture:

Therefore the LORD wants to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more.  He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry.  As soon as he hears it, he answers you.
And though the LORD give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.  

Being a whole-life disciple and asking others to join me is to pay attention to our lives, to our afflictions and adversities as well as our desires.  We cannot know the joys of the Lord if we do not admit the sorrow, and we can’t forgive with abandon if we don’t realize the gift of forgiveness we have received.  We often can make it too hard, too complicated.  

We follow Jesus — nothing and no one else.

…”This is the way, walk in it.” 

Where have you seen God?  


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