Jesus the Way (22-07-20)
Bible Readings: John 14:1-6
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." (Isaiah 30:21)
Helen and I recently spent a couple of days walking in the Cotswolds. We had maps which enabled us to plan our routes and a GPS tracker which gave us our grid reference at any point of the journey. Even so, there were still times when we had to stop and work out which way to go. This wasn’t helped by the numerous different footpaths that we could have followed. As we walked we saw signposts for ‘The Cotswold Way’, ‘The Heart of England Way’ and ‘The Monarch’s Way’, as well as others that just said ‘Footpath’. Sometimes these ‘Ways’ were all following the same path, sometimes they diverged and went off in different directions. Sometimes we followed a clear sign that had the name of a village and a distance on it, sometimes we just followed the sign that said ‘Footpath’.
I think there are many similarities here with the Christian journey. We are followers of Jesus who said of himself ‘I am The Way’, and the Christians in the early church were known as ‘Followers of The Way’. (See Acts 9:2 and 19:9,23.)
Sometimes ‘The Way’ for us may be very clear, as we follow paths that many have trodden before us, but sometimes the way we travel is less clear. It may seem we are following a sign which simply says ‘Footpath’ and, like Thomas we might say ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’
Sometimes we might find ourselves sharing our journey with people walking on different routes. We are not the only people concerned about conservation, social justice or world peace, but our destinations may not be the same. Walking the way of Jesus encompasses all of these and more, but we need to know when our paths diverge.
The good news for us as we follow Jesus, The Way, is that we have a map to guide us in the bible, and the Holy Spirit to prompt us saying, "This is the way; walk in it”.
Walking in the Cotswolds, though, is not just about the destination, it is also about appreciating the journey: the beauty of the countryside, the villages you walk through and the people you meet as you travel. Likewise on our Christian journey, we know our destination but how we travel is important. Jesus is King of Heaven, but he is also Lord of the Journey. As we travel, let us honour him and appreciate the journey.
Lord Jesus, The Way, help me to follow you in my journey through life and to glory. And when the path seems unclear, give me the grace to hear your voice and the faith to follow where you lead.