It is Time to Go to Jerusalem…

It is time.  It is time to go to Jerusalem…

There’s a part of me that wants to go back, wants to stay in Galilee where it is green and lush and safe.  But now is the time.  The tide has turned and I have to go.  It’s hard because there is, oh, so much more to do.  It’s hard because I don’t think they’re ready.  I’m worried that they’re still a little bit too worried about themselves, about which one of them is the most important, about who belongs with them, about who is acceptable.  I’m worried that they don’t get along with each other, that they’re more concerned about their own safety and their own security and their own place in life than what they’re called to do.  I’m worried that they’re still just a little bit too attached to the rules of religion that sometimes they forget to follow with awe and wonder and the joy of what each moment holds.  I’m worried that it will become about religion rather than people, about order rather than children of God, about agendas and issues and which “side” one is on rather than about You.  I’m worried that they’ll forget who they are.  I’m worried that they will forget that we are all children of God, that we are all called to be a part of this Kingdom. 

Lake of Galilee
(Tiberius, February, 2010)
Ruins of the Synogogue
Capernaum, Galilee, Israel

When life changes like this, when you know that going forward is the only direction to go, you can’t help but become a little sentimental about the past.  It’s good to remember.  It’s good to give thanks for all those rich and wonderful memories that carry you forward.  So all those family pictures and images come flooding into my mind.  I remember those days around the lake when they were all so excited about the newness of it all, when they were all so sure that this was the direction that their lives should take, when they all willingly left the lives that they had built behind and went forward into the unknown, when their faith was new and full of hope.  I remember the gatherings when so many would come, when so many hope-filled faces searching for something to give their life meaning.  I remember meals together as we shared with one another.  I remember standing in the synagogue with the sun beating down and all the town stopping, if only for a moment, to listen.

Judean Wilderness near
Jerusalem
(February, 2010)

But things change.  Life marches on whether or not we’re ready to go.  Out here in the wilderness, I’m reminded of that time such a short few years ago when I was here alone.  I remember being out here and being a little scared and unsure, a little tempted to turn toward something else, but so filled with faith and so aware of Your Presence with me.  It is strange that now, traveling through that same foreboding place, I am not alone and, yet, I feel so lonely.  They have no idea.  They have no sense of what we’re probably walking into.  The news coming out of the city is not good.  The political climate is really not very stable, not very welcoming of any change.  The political rhetoric has become very centered on what is best for the “me’s” of the world and has forgotten that we are all here together as children of God.  I suppose when we get there, there will be the faithful few that will greet us.  But I doubt they’ll stay.  I doubt they’ll stay when they realize how dangerous this really is.  And these with me–my brothers and sisters, my good friends, those whom I so dearly love, I’m not sure how much they can take.  I’m not sure if they can stand strong and faithful against what is to come.  I think there’s a good chance that I am in this alone. 

But I know that You are with me.  I know that You will never desert me.  And I know that You are with them.  Keep them safe.  Remind them how very much they are loved.  And give them strength.  There is, oh, so much work left to do.

It is time.  It is time to go to Jerusalem…

The gates of the city are just up ahead.  There is no other way around.  This is not an easy journey.  But it one that all of must walk.  As you enter this Holiest of Weeks, what do you need to leave behind?  And what do you need to carry into the city?

Grace and Peace,

Shelli

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