The Journey of Faith: Forest

No Journey is without incidents.  Incidents very rarely define the success of the journey rather, challenges and texture and color to otherwise run of the mill activities.  No body likes a flat tire while traveling across country, but rarely does this ruin the entire trip.  I’ll never forget losing my I.D. on a plane trip to Arizona and almost not getting on the plane. Harrowing escapes make for great memories as long as everything works out!

In our Journey of life we often place a lot of pressure on ourselves to have all the answers, not let other people down, to have riches and success, to choose a path with few setbacks.   Our life can seem very insignificant when we measure ourselves to these standards and at the same time we believe somehow we’ve done something wrong.

When Jesus showed up that first Christmas Day He came in fulfillment of the spiritual journey of a nation.  The people of Israel had been promised that a Messiah/Savior to all the world would come from their Nation.  That He would be a descendant of King David and his father Jesse.  But, it had been 600 years since anyone related to David had sat on a throne as King.  Jesus never made it to the throne either.

While we all prefer an event free journey, we all face realities that are far less than perfect.  This is the beauty, majesty and purpose of God.  Isaiah, a prophet of Israel, writes about the “stump of Jesse” indicating that the long and storied family tree of this man and his Kingly descendants had been chopped down.   But God, in His redemptive power caused the long destroyed family tree to send out a shoot, be reborn, and fulfill His promise to Israel.  “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.”

Through Jesus Christ we are not told to be perfect, rather that we ARE now perfect.  Made perfect as a child of God redeemed, reborn, and restored.  Through the mishaps, flat tires, fallen trees and various other missteps God works in powerful ways to strengthen you and I and all His descendants.  That is an amazing journey and a colorful story.  Who have you shared your story with recently?

His servant and yours,

Erik A. Gauss

The Journey: Advent Series

In December we will be celebrating Advent, a special time of preparation for Christmas. As we prepare to joyfully celebrate Christ’s first coming, we also keep in mind and prepare for His second coming.  To do so, we will be highlighting the themes and references in the Old Testament readings for the season, which are the Mountain, the Forest, the Desert, and the Cave.  As we go on our spiritual journey of preparation, we will be highlighting what each of these symbols represents in the history of the church and for each one of us.  Come join us on the Journey!!