Tag Archives: journey

Another Way #adventbookclub – Day 37

12 Later they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and they went back home by another road.

The Escape to Egypt

13 After the wise men had gone, an angel from the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Hurry and take the child and his mother to Egypt! Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is looking for the child and wants to kill him.”

14 That night, Joseph got up and took his wife and the child to Egypt, 15 where they stayed until Herod died. So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, “I called my son out of Egypt.”

The Return from Egypt

19 After King Herod died, an angel from the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph while he was still in Egypt. 20 The angel said, “Get up and take the child and his mother back to Israel. The people who wanted to kill him are now dead.”

21 Joseph got up and left with them for Israel. 22 But when he heard that Herod’s son Archelaus was now ruler of Judea, he was afraid to go there. Then in a dream he was told to go to Galilee, 23 and they went to live there in the town of Nazareth. So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, “He will be called a Nazarene.”

The visitors from the East had to return a different way.  The journey they had planned was not to be.

Joseph had to take his family to a different place than he intended.  He could not return to his home – at least not yet.

There journeys were not what they expected.

We’ve all had unexpected journeys.  One’s we weren’t expecting to make, ones that didn’t quite go to plan.  I suspect many of us could write a whole book about them!  They are usually incredibly stressful, not what we had planned.  But as I mentioned at the start, our eldest son’s philosophy is that that is all part of the fun.  Each delay is an opportunity, especially if it demands a detour to get to where you were going – or perhaps to end up somewhere else altogether.  (Personally, I can do without that kind of excitement when trying to get somewhere – maybe I have something to learn)

As we come to the end of this #adventbookclub, and Maggi’s excellent book, how has our journey been?  Has it taken us where we expected?  Or have we learned new things, had different experiences?  Heard God tell us things we never imagined?

And what about the journey onwards from here?  For the end of the book is the beginning of the rest of our journey.  And as Maggi reminds us (p166), we can never go back once we have encountered Jesus.

Where will we go?  What will God show us?  Where will he take us?

Are we ready to hear and to follow?

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O Jesus I have Promised

Thank you to everyone who has shared this journey, brought new insights, suggested different paths, shone the light so we could see the way ahead.  And especially thanks to Maggi for writing the book.

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.

Altars on The Way #adventbookclub – Day 9

4-5 Abram was seventy-five years old when the Lord told him to leave the city of Haran. He obeyed and left with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all the possessions and slaves they had gotten while in Haran.

When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram went as far as the sacred tree of Moreh in a place called Shechem. The Canaanites were still living in the land at that time, but the Lord appeared to Abram and promised, “I will give this land to your family forever.” Abram then built an altar there for the Lord.

Abram traveled to the hill country east of Bethel and camped between Bethel and Ai, where he built another altar and worshiped the Lord. Later, Abram started out toward the Southern Desert.

Is it here?
Is this the place?
Is this where you are calling me to?
Is this the person I am to become?

This is a journey.
There are important stages on the way,
but they are not the destination.
Perhaps junctions,
maybe places to wait for a connection.
important places on their own,
but not The Place.

Somewhere to pause,
think,
pray.
An opportunity to check the map,
the timetable,
or ask in the information office,
but not a forever place.

But The Now place.
the place we are,
the place God is

And so we worship

And then we journey onwards
As God leads

Guide Me

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.

God Chooses #adventbookclub – Day 8

Today we move to a section about The Patriarchs

31 Terah decided to move from Ur to the land of Canaan. He took along Abram and Sarai and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran. But when they came to the city of Haran, they decided to settle there instead. 32 Terah lived to be two hundred five years old and died in Haran.

The Lord Chooses Abram

12 The Lord said to Abram:

Leave your country, your family, and your relatives and go to the land that I will show you. I will bless you and make your descendants into a great nation. You will become famous and be a blessing to others. I will bless anyone who blesses you, but I will put a curse on anyone who puts a curse on you. Everyone on earth will be blessed because of you.

4-5 Abram was seventy-five years old when the Lord told him to leave the city of Haran. He obeyed and left with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all the possessions and slaves they had gotten while in Haran.

When they came to the land of Canaan, 

How nice it is, usually, to be chosen, selected, picked out.  A feeling of being special, “The One”, lined up for something.  We like to be chosen, it makes us feel valuable.

But I wonder how Abram felt here about being chosen by God? Leave your home, your wider family, all that is familiar – and come on a journey with me. I think my response would be along the lines of, ‘Well, thank you Lord, but that sounds really rather scary, quite uncomfortable and fraught with difficulty.  Perhaps on this occasion I’d rather not be chosen – and stay here.’  Actually I’m sure I’ve said that to God before when he’s invited me to come with him.

Maggi gives some wise advice on hearing and discerning “a call” (p41).

God chooses each one of us.  He invites us to come with him.  To journey.  To calling.  To blessing.  It is not just for Patriarchs, Prophets and Priests, it for us all.

Someone gave us this when God was shouting at me about full-time Presbyteral Ministry (which is emphatically not the only call…), and I was choosing not to hear very well

Who us?

And the Lord said, “Go!”
And we said, “Who us?”
And he said, “Yes, you”.

And we said,
“But we’re not ready yet
And there’s company coming.
And we can’t leave the kids,
And you know there is no-one to take our place.”

And he said, “You’re stalling”.

Again the Lord said, “Go”.

And we said,
“But we don’t want to”.

And we said,
“Listen, we’re not that kind of people
To get involved so deeply,
besides
Our family wouldn’t like it.
And what will the neighbours think?”

And he said, “Baloney”.

And yet a third time the Lord said, “Go!”

And we said, “Do we have to?”

And he said, “Do you love me?”

And we said,
“Look, we’re scared.
People are going to reject us.
And cut us up into little pieces.
And we can’t take it all by ourselves.”

And he said, “Where do you think I’ll be?”

And the Lord said, “Go!”

And we sighed, “Here we are Lord, send us”.

Sometimes you just have to stop arguing with God, and go with him!

That’s something he calls us all to do. The direction for each of us may be different, but God has chosen each of us for something.  None of that embarrassing waiting in a line to be picked like in PE lessons…

God has chosen you.  Will you let him?  Will you go with him?

Maggi reminds us that hearing a call is a beginning of a journey – not a final destination, or even knowing where that final destination is (if we knew we may well decide to stay firmly put :)) Hearing God’s call and responding is about being willing to start out on the journey.

And this I love,

The call of God seems to involve choosing what to take and what to leave behind and the willingness to do the sorting out and packing up that makes moving possible (p42)

That is vital as we continue the journey and discovery of our call – what comes with us and what stays behind?

The God of Abraham Praise

Thank you Lord
for choosing me,
for having something
uniquely me shaped,
a task you need me for.

Lord,
when I stall,
dither,
question,
and drag my feet,
may I hear
with clarity
your call
and be brave enough to follow.

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.