More completely stated, it goes something like this: God created and called a people to live in a good place and enjoy God’s presence. First Adam and Eve (people) walked in the garden (place) with God (presence). Then God called Abram and his descendants, Israel (people), to live in the land of Canaan (place) and worship Him there (presence).
Now, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God calls not just Israel but everyone who believes in Jesus Christ “my people” (see Romans 9:25). And the place for God’s people—for the time being, anyway—is with His people; that is, with The Church … with others who call Jesus “Lord” (see Hebrews 10:24). And Jesus’ great promise before He ascended back into heaven was His continued presence in us through the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 2:20, Acts 1:8). People, Place, Presence.
Eiley, Megan, and I are still very much in the process of getting settled in, but one word seems to keep coming up as we talk about how we’re feeling: home. I felt it the first day we arrived in the area. Our house—which I’d not even seen except in pictures until after we’d already signed the final loan documents!—is daily becoming more of a home. And here at The Journey … well, I can only say that you are doing an incredible job of welcoming us and making us feel at home here.
People, Place, Presence.
You are not just God’s people, you are our people. This is not just God’s place, it is our place. And we are daily experiencing the smile of God’s presence, expressed so often by your presence in our lives. And words will never be adequate to express our gratitude for that.
But the journey isn’t over; in fact, it’s just begun. We’re only at the trailhead, and looking forward to adventures on the trail. We may be among God’s people; we may be at home; but there are a lot of people in this community who are not His people, who aren’t enjoying His presence, who don’t have a place. You know them better than I. They’re your neighbors, your co-workers, your students (or fellow students). The people you meet at the grocery store, the coffee shop, the gym.
And The Journey Church could be just the place for them, to be among God’s people, and find welcome in His presence. Who will you invite to join you on the journey?