Thursday, January, 12, 2017 | 9:59 PM | by ledington
Focus Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5: 14 – 17 Part 1
A cave. A lion’s den. A womb. A manger. A Chrysalis. A tomb. An empty tomb.
Here we are again. Circling around the issues of life and of death; of failure and of victory. The seemingly incompatible existing simultaneously. Without darkness we do not understand the power of light. Without chaos we do not understand the beauty of order.
It was out of chaos that God created; it was into darkness that He spoke “Let there be light.”
In January of 2007, I was a Pilgrim on the Walk to Emmaus. There was a moment during that weekend … God spoke to me. I suppose you might need a little “back story” first: So, in another January, fifteen years earlier, I had heard God’s voice then, too. At that time, I heard Him tell me to attend seminary. That was admittedly odd and awkward and inspiring all at the same time.
I was raised in the church – baptized as an infant, went through confirmation, graduated from a church-sponsored college, and was married in the church. And then life intervened – after we were married, we had bills to pay and jobs to work to pay those bills. We ended up working a lot of Sundays and gradually moved further and further away from the church I was raised in (both literally and figuratively.) It had been close to three years since I had been in church when I heard that call. Well, I started to look into seminaries that were “close by”; we moved to make it easier – made a lot of changes. I looked with great anticipation of doing “God’s work”; except there were things I did not want to do. And then – just a couple of weeks before I was to start classes there was a meeting with financial aid. They showed me how much I would have to pay; they had even made a budget for me. It was based on what we earned and incorporated all of our bills … except for the car payment and insurance. I was confused and walked away; I could not reason how – how was I supposed to meet all of my obligations. (Whenever I read the scriptures when Jesus walks on the water and Peter comes out of the boat – this is the part where I empathize (completely understand) with Peter and start to sink ….)
Back to 2007 – God spoke to me and said that I had been afraid. So, He called me into Youth Ministry – told me that I was to work with young people. Guess what I had not wanted to do back in 1992 … yep, youth ministry. I would love to tell you that is when I “manned up”, but no – the Jonah within me came out. Just kind of denied I had heard that. It was a full three months later that my Pastor told me that the adult leaders for the Youth were moving and asked me to take over the leadership role. Another three years later, I served on a team for Chrysalis – the teen version of Walk to Emmaus.
The Walk to Emmaus spoke to me, but Chrysalis – it changed me. In the same way, God spoke to me, but it is the Cross of Christ that changes me. It is through His sacrifice that I live, that I gain strength. Through the past ten years, I have contemplated that call from 25 years ago. Should I go back to school? I have started … and stopped … started and stopped. Eventually, God granted me a peace that sustains me in my day to day life. My seminary has no degree at the end, no hallowed halls and pillars. My seminary is life itself – to head into each day looking for Jesus in those around me and seeing how He may use me.
Our scripture today is about how Christ on the cross impacts our lives. Death. Life. Womb and tomb. My hope, my dreams, my fears, my obligations have all been transformed at and by the cross of Christ. He has, is and will do the same for you. Praise be to God.