Friday, April 22, 2016

"yet I live, no longer I"

Each day, as we step further outside of ourselves, the comfort of who we are within the four walls of our home, the four walls of our Church, we travel deeper into the place that our Lord, Jesus Christ calls us to. Each day, His voice is ever clearer, ever the more familiar, and ever the more challenging. For with each step we take on this journey for Jesus, one begins to sense a stillness within one's heart that defies the challenge we are faced with. 

Traveling out on an uncharted course (insofar as our personal experience) should logically create an ever-expanding sense of trepidation, reluctance, and perhaps even resignation, particularly in a world where faith is expected to remain hidden. Yet, with every step, every prayer, and every thought of our Lord's trials in the desert, the challenges to His ministry, the rejections from those He loved, and the suffering He willingly undertook for our salvation, one finds a growing sense of peace, hope and charity settling within the heart that is beyond explanation. 

As we continued our "pilgrimage" today, visiting 51 homes and engaging those we encountered on the street, we found ourselves basking in a state of complete peace, a peace that comes not from who we are, but rather, from Who it is that resides in us. This peace carried into our conversations and engagements dispelling any sense of fatigue that might have sought to distract our focus.  We were asked for prayers by some, provided prayer petitions by others, and found growing sense of ease settling in with those we encountered. 

And clearly, there is nothing special about us that should serve to calm those we meet, and yet, there is absolutely everything special about each one of us, and our journey is helping to remind us that "I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me". (Galatians 2:19-20). 

And thus is the miracle of what we're experiencing on this journey, that in our efforts to bring Christ to others, He, is bringing us closer to Him.  And so, let us "...praise you with all (our) heart, glorify your name forever, Lord (our) God". (Psalm 86:12).