I recently visited my son at his townhouse in Virginia Beach. It was a nice visit. Temperatures were in the 60s (in February!), so we got to spend a good bit of time outdoors, walking and exploring some nature preserves and boardwalks near the place he now calls “home.” There is something about my son that can get me to tie on my sneakers or put on my slopping shoes to get out and about… for hours at a time. That is not my norm. I absolutely love reading and taking time to research to develop sermon themes, prepare individual sermons, and create the Lenten Bible Study material. I enjoy a good mental journey, but I was blessed by the active walking we did. I “oohed” and “aahed” at the variety of trees, the oysters peaking up out of the water, the birds that strutted on long legs in the bay water, the footprints of tiny deer hooves left in the mud, the saplings that were cropping up everywhere, and the people I got to look in the eye, smile and greet during our walk. I could feel the breeze on my face, smell the brine of the stagnant backwater, enjoy the scent of the salty ocean wind, hear the gravel underneath my feet, listen to the birds make their calls, and touch a few dogs’ heads along the way. It was a sensory experience that I cannot engage in from my desk chair or sitting on my couch to read.
Jesus was on the move over his 3- year ministry. He experienced things and people in “real time.” He could hear the tone of their voice, see the look in their eyes, feel the callouses on their hands as they
passed him the platter of fish or loaf of bread around the table, and smell the fragrance of human sweat as they walked miles just to be with Him and learn from Him. The disciples who walked with Jesus went on a dynamic adventure. “Dynamic” because it was characterized by constant change, activity, or progress (as the Oxford Dictionary defines this word) and it was an “adventure” as they explored inner (in themselves) and outer (in the people and places) unknown territory.
In this day and time that we live, we can observe the Body of Christ (the Church) from the comfort of our homes and never have to slip on a shoe to do so. Technology has allowed us to observe worship and listen to a sermon online. I’m grateful for it and how it offers a way to engage for those who are shut-in or geographically distant on a Sunday morning. I was convicted that I would have never been able to experience those “oohs” and “aahs” that I did on my walk with my son if I observed it from a computer screen or read about it in a book. I long to “ooh” and “aah,” following the footsteps of Jesus, WITH YOU!
If you have not ventured out to join us in the church building for a while, please come. I’m inviting you, to be with us, in person. Let’s take this journey of faith together. Will you join me?