As many of you know, in early December I was ordained to the priesthood. The road to ordination can be long and laborious involving all sorts of interviews, check-ins, and evaluations that are submitted to various committees, commissions, and the bishop of a diocese with the intent to help one appropriately discern a call to ordained ministry. For the past few years, I have been in the midst of this process, and to be honest, I was very much looking forward to it being over! The ordination service in December in a way represented an end to a particular journey in my life. However, as the ordination process came to a close for me, I have found myself in the midst of a new journey here at St. Simon’s.
Since I’ve gotten older (go ahead and roll your eyes, I know I’m only 32) I have come to understand that as followers of Christ, Jesus is constantly leading and calling us to new journeys that draw us deeper into God’s love. I have come to understand more fully that being a Christian is a lifelong journey during which we are constantly learning to grow and love in new and deeper ways.
In the Going Deeper offering after church last Sunday, a group of folks from St. Simon’s watched a video that featured author Brian McLaren. In his most recent book McLaren writes, “Jesus himself was perpetually in motion, leading his disciples from town to town, their physical movements mirroring the spiritual odyssey on which he led them…His first words were ‘Follow me,’ and his final words were ‘Go into all the world.’” During his earthly life, Jesus invited his disciples to journey with him from one thing to the next all the while showing and teaching them God’s love so that they could go and make that love known to others.
In his book, McLaren goes on to ask the question, “What might happen if we understand the core Christian ethos as creative, constructive, and forward-leaning—as an ‘organizing religion’ that challenges all institutions (including its own) to learn, grow, and mature toward a deepening, enduring vision of reconciliation with God, self, neighbor, enemy, and creation?” It’s a good question and one to think about as we face the many issues of our world today. Jesus’ life and example are meant to inspire us so that we can continue in the direction he leads us.
May Jesus’ life and teaching inspire our great spiritual journeys as we seek to make God’s love known.
Hope to see you Sunday,