Where Do We Go from Here?

I always get a little sad about saying goodbye to summer.  I so appreciate the calmer pace, the longer days, the beauty of creation all around.  For me, summer is best spent on, in, or near “the lake,” and I get renewed with every trip there.  Already though, the northland is experiencing the earliest hints of fall.  Our Beautiful and Blessed study is winding down too.  All summer we explored the beautiful nature of our God, and the invitation to draw near was ever before us.  My prayer throughout was that you experienced God in some new or important way. 

“Where do we go from here?” someone asked recently.   It was a bigger question than it may appear…it was said with that worried look you get as you watch the news or read the paper.  It was an anxious response to unwelcome and uncomfortable events – a guarded way of asking if things were spinning out of control – a good grounding question, one I’ve been praying often lately.

Sometimes –  when you ask the right question, in just the right way, it starts providing a good answer: Where do we go from here?  We get going.  What better way to get going than with our Rally Weekend Car Show.  We’ve got a band new parking lot and a brand new entrance….let’s fill it up with classic cars, and Tov garden produce, crafts, music,  food and fun.  We want to let the neighborhood know our doors are wide open, and we’ve got places to go, and we would love to invite them along for the ride.

This fall we will be taking a road trip.  It starts with the All Church Retreat on Sept 6-8.  If anyone knows about traveling, it’s our recent immigrants!  They will start our fall by talking about their spiritual and physical journeys from Ghana and Nigeria.  See the website for more information.  Then, we will spend our Sundays with the “travel narratives of Jesus” as found in the Gospel of Luke.

Luke 9-19 are some of the most unique chapters in the gospels.  They document the final time Jesus traveled from Galilee to Jerusalem; they conclude with the final week of Jesus’ life.  The narrative begins like this:  As the time approached for him to be taken to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem (Luke 9: 51).  We are going on that road trip with Jesus, even though it requires going through hostile territory.  The end game will be his arrest and crucifixion.  Along the way Jesus speaks constantly  in Parables, many of which are recorded nowhere else. Why tell so many stories when the time is so short and the stakes are so high?  Each week we will use this context to look at the parables and locate our own faith journey along the road that Jesus walks. The stories Jesus tells are remarkably ordinary, but somehow they get under our skin and invite participation in kingdom life. As Eugene Peterson writes, this road trip is preparing them (and us) to “live in a world that neither knows nor wants to know Jesus.”  

So that’s where we go from here.  I’m packed and ready.  How about you?

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