Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Acts 21:1-6

Acts 21:1-6
English Standard Version (ESV)

  We live in very transient times.  If you decided this morning to travel to Europe, you could reasonably expect to be there within 24 hours, no matter where on the earth you were, assuming you had a credit card with a generous limit and some flexibility.  Also, there wouldn't be a lot of uncertainty about your travels -- you can post pictures of your adventures to social media from Venice just as easily as you can from Venice Beach, and we can track your progress (with jealousy, most likely!) as you leapfrog from Venice to Milan to Rome and back.  The likelihood of calamity is rare, and most troubles encountered while traveling can be easily surmounted.
  Obviously, life was a little different in Paul's time.  Travel wasn't easy or quick or as reliable, and news certainly traveled much less frequently.  Paul's status updates might take months or years, and he wasn't constantly checking with the nearest courier to see how many likes his latest update received.
  There is something grand that is lost in all of our progress.  We aren't as emotionally tied in to one another.  We're accustomed to various comings and goings, and we're often so wrapped up in our own little corner of the world that we tend to forget about whomever has left until they're back.
  So what does it look like for us to invest ourselves in the lives of another, to pray with them on the beach and entrust them to God, not knowing what to expect in the future?  That's a hard thing to translate, but there's something beautiful about the idea of blessing one another as we go out.  In doing so, we both offer our best wishes and entrust one another to the hands of God, where we all reside anyway.  Also, in blessing another, we are praying for a fruitfulness upon their arrival -- it's more than just wishes for a safe journey, but a hope that their journey will be filled with abundance, and their arrival will be the beginning of something new, no matter what it may be.
  So may we intertwine ourselves in the lives of our faith community, to the point that we are truly paying attention to the journeys we are taking, that we might not be so wrapped up in our own that we forget what the others are doing.  May we journey together, hand in hand, praying blessings upon the footsteps of others.

No comments: