By Pastor Kathy Itzin
Can we walk into a future with trust? Our faith would say we can. This is actually one of the great themes of the Bible. People set off on journeys, not knowing what they will encounter along the way, or where they will end up.
Abraham and Sarah were called to set off on a journey, to leave everything, and to go far into the unknown. "God said, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you…So Abraham went." (Genesis 12: 1 & 4)
Moses faithfully left Egypt with the Israelite former-slaves, relying upon God’s care and guidance along the way. He didn’t even get to see the Promised Land after years of leading the people through the wilderness. He died beforehand, and his successor, Joshua, is the one who actually finished the trip.
Jesus’ family did the same thing. When they heard about Herod’s threat to the baby, they left in the middle of the night for Egypt. I’m sure that was Not how Mary pictured spending the first year or two of her babies’ life!
The ‘journey’ is an ancient symbol of a life of faith. We see it many times in the Bible. We are people who listen for God’s call, and try to follow it. We know that the first, earliest name for Christianity was ‘The Way." We follow Jesus, and we follow the Way God leads. Journeys and following are always times of trust.
I don’t believe that God has every step of a person’s life choreographed ahead of time. Rather, each step that we choose opens up new possibilities for the next step. God always invites us to choose the direction with the most life and love for the most people.
This is an uncertain, but exciting time for the future of Parkway United Church of Christ. The unknown can provoke anxiety, stress, or fear, especially when it involves things or people that are important to us. God knows that. These are also the times though, that have the most potential for newness, for creativity, and for making choices that show what we value, and who we are.
The image of a journey involves mystery. All of life actually involves mystery. We never know how things will turn out, but we make good, informed choices to the best of our ability. That is how God leads us. That is how God still speaks. We can trust that, and we can trust ourselves.
I appreciate being with you as together, we explore ‘The Way’ forward!