The question “what does God want?” will guide us throughout 2019. And central to answering that question will be what John Calvin called the two parts of wisdom: knowing God and knowing ourselves.
Jesus’ invitation to his first disciples addressed both those parts. “Follow me,” he said, because in following him, they would learn to know him. They walked and talked together; fished and ate together; sat in the synagogue together. They watched as he healed blind men and hemorrhaging women; laughed as he told jokes and hugged little children; learned as he explained the Scriptures and touched the lepers.
In January, we’ll look at what “follow me” means for us today … getting to know God a little better.
“Follow me,” though, was only part of the invitation; he continued, “and I will make you fishers of men.” But notice this: he didn’t say that part to Matthew the tax collector, or to Bartholomew or Thaddeus or Judas Iscariot. Those men weren’t fishermen, so the metaphor wouldn’t have made sense! Jesus knew them, and over the course of time, helped them to know themselves and what God would do through them. He wants to do the same with us.
In February, we’ll take some time to consider how God has uniquely created each of us … and how that informs how he might use each of us in his world-saving plan!
Also in February we’ll launch our “Trail Guide” Sunday lunch series: every Sunday after the service, we will be having a 90-minute discussion about The Journey Church’s vision and values and how to get connected in the life of the church. Each week will focus on a different core value: God’s Word, God’s Church, Life Together, and Prayer. This will be an opportunity for newcomers to get to know The Journey Church; it will also serve as the “trail head” for those who want to join as members. (I also want to encourage existing members to participate, not only to become familiar with new language you hear me using, but also to learn about yourself and to get acquainted with newcomers.)
One other thing I need to let you know: after years and years of faithful, passionate service, Paula Willson is stepping away from leading our Children’s Ministry. She has shared with me just a bit of how hard this is; after all, she’s been working with kids for 40+ years! (And I have a sneaking suspicion that she’s not going to be too far away from them still!) Stepping into that role—but not the shoes!—is Allison Jones, who will bring her own unique gifting and passion to the work. Please join me in thanking Paula, welcoming Allie, and praying for both in this time of transition.
I’m excited to see where God will take us this next year. Better hang on, because I think it’s going to be a wild ride!
Thanks for letting me journey with you as your pastor.