Jesus of the Journey

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Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way . . .”  (John 14:1-6)

For too much of the history of our faith we have been focused on the destination. Thomas yearned to be with Jesus, wherever it was that Jesus was going. If we believe that Jesus has ascended into heaven, it is only natural for us to focus on reaching that destination ourselves.  But notice carefully how Jesus responds to Thomas. Jesus holds himself out not as the destination but rather as the journey itself. “I am the way …”

A life of faith in the promise of what is to come is unfulfilled unless it is accompanied by a life of faith in the here and now. And the world needs more Here and Now Disciples, people who cherish the path they are on because it is the very thing they already seek. Jesus is the process, the journey, the adventure – not merely the token prize at the end of the maze. Living as disciples on Christ’s way, we come to appreciate the sacrament of every moment, and with each new step we come to know more deeply the presence of God in the small space where the flesh of our feet meets the soil God has created.

In this same passage from John’s Gospel, Philip goes on to ask Jesus to “show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Again, a focus on the destination. Jesus turns that question on its head and asks why they haven’t seen the Father already. Those who come to know the presence of God in the walking of life will be the ones to fulfill Jesus’ bold assertion, “Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)

-Rich Nelson

Take a picture of your fabulous feet (or shoes) as they are walking and share it via social media with the hashtag #followingtheway.

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