Wednesday, January 16, 2008

continuing on

Life is a journey. It can be likened to Pilgrim in John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. He escapes the City of Destruction, at last loses his heavy burden at the Cross, then goes on through many dangers, toils and snares- at long last arriving to the Celestial City. It is a wonderful story, and I need to reread it.

Continuing on. We must be in that mode. This Jesus way is a way of change. And it is a way in which we're in that together. The only criticism I might have of Bunyan's tale is that Christian is journeying essentially alone. Though others do come his way throughout the story to help him in one way or another- or to hinder, as well. But the picture we see in Scripture is that we are sojournerers together. Each of us has our part to play; we're both to carry our own regular burden, and carry the overburdens of each other. Yes, we're individuals, but we're in community, we belong not only to the Lord, but to each other in Jesus.

Continuing on. It's exciting, the friends we make along the way. What we learn, and above all, becoming more and more like our Master, as we are closer and closer to him as our Head and source of real life, the life and love which has its origins in the Trinity. It's about relationship in love in Jesus. And this begins in this world, as we find that this is really what life is all about.

God is here for us in Jesus, who is God-with-us. He is in the midst of us all who are in him- also in my brother, and in my sister, even in each one of us, as poor as our hearts really are. But by faith we see him in each other. We do need this. This makes all the difference as we grow and go on together, continuing on in Jesus to the very end.

What comes to your mind about continuing on?

11 comments:

preacherman said...

I heard a story about when Roman persucution's were going was arrested to face death. A Roman Senetor wanted to see how this new sect would face death so he got a front seat to watch the slaughter. In front of him was this young new convert who was ready to die for her faith. It is said as she faced the lions she gave the Senetor a smile. The smile haunted him for days after. She wasn't afraid of death! How could this be! It is said, that he himself later became a Christian because of this girls continuing on. Are we willing to do the same? Continuing on til' death? Christians are dying in the Sudan for thier faith today due to Muslim persuction. Yet they continue on. Jesus, tells us, "If any many would be my disciple he must take up his cross and follow me." I believe that take up his cross actually mean be willing to die for the cause of Christ. Continue on despite whatever is going on around us even to the point of death. I am going to continue on!

Every Square Inch said...

Ted

I think your point about the pilgrimage being made in community rather than as individuals is very valid.

But perhaps we should go easy on Bunyan - he may have been trying to emphasize individual accountability - highlighting dangers that an individual faces along the way...the temptations and the trials.. as well as choices we must make as individuals.

Yes, there is corporate encouragement and accountability to continue in the journey but there is also the personal choices we make as well.

Rachel Mc said...

"The Jesus was is a way of change." I believe that is so true
and I think when people start this journey/change they need to embrace rather than question it or neglect it. Change is tough, especially if some of the changes you need to make you didn't want to happen. What comes to mind about continuing on is that I think it starts as a solitary change/journey. i think you need o go inward and work with Jesus and embrace his changes for your life. Then, we your confidence is a little stronger, things seem a little clearer, you can actively participate in a community.
All this can seem overwhelming, but God can and will send people to help along the way. That has been my experience. I am continuing on and hopefully leaning on God and accepting His changes more and more everyday.

NaNcY said...

i count my journey a blessing for it is with God that i can continue on.

good post.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Preacherman,
Thanks for sharing that. Yes, we must continue on, no matter what, and God will help us.

Ted M. Gossard said...

ESI,
Thanks. Perhaps you're right. I think community is a bigger emphasis in Scripture than it is in "The Pilgrim's Progress." But we can't lose sight of the fact that it's still up to us to follow. No one else can or will do it for us. We must so choose, and then continue on.

Thanks again!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Rachel,
Thanks for sharing that, and for sharing from your own experience.

Surely it works differently for different people in differing circumstances, but it's so right, that it needs to be an inward work of grace by the Spirit, that we then work out in our lives. Sometimes community is there to get people going. And in your case, to help one, once we get going, in the Lord.

We need changed from the inside out (Brian Doerksen song, too). And that is what helps us continue on, and grow in Jesus, by that continued work of God.

That's my experience, along with needing the help and encouragement of others through prayer and counsel, correction and affirmation, and just continuing on together through the good times and bad.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, Nancy! God with us.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Preacherman,
I don't feel I did justice to your comment. That is no small fries you shared with us.

This just helps us to know that God's grace will always be sufficient for us, no matter what we face. We need to have confidence in that, and carry on, when faced with trials.

Again, thanks!

L.L. Barkat said...

Oh, the fact that we journey together... that means so much.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, me too, L.L.