A WORD IN PASSING APRIL 2017
It was largely the 'West of the Imagination' that led to the opening up and settling of the North American continent. Pioneers, explorers, families ventured into the unknown opening up the interior and settling down to claim their own part of the dream. Without the journey the vision and its accompanying hope would have remained just a dream. The journey had to be made if the vision was to become a reality. There were many obstacles and hardships to face; high mountain ranges and great plains to be crossed, deep valleys, harsh deserts and mighty rivers to overcome. Then there were the native Americans who already claimed much of the land as their own, as well as the rogues and outlaws always on the look-out to take advantage of anyone anyway they could. And then, of course, there were the mental and physical battles that each man, women and child had to fight within themselves - disappointment, disillusionment, illness, disease. The vision was real, it was attainable, but it came at a cost.
In Jesus we have the Pioneer par excellence. The Bible tells us how He - going before us - has prepared and opened up the way through which we can all come into the promises that our heavenly Father has prepared for us. But like the pioneers of old, those promises and that vision remain out of reach and unattainable unless we too are willing to make the journey Jesus invites us to undertake under His guidance and in His name.
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me."
The pioneers of old would often use landmarks, mountains, rivers, etc. as sign posts for their journey. The Christian has but one - the cross of Jesus Christ. It is His cross alone that marks the way of forgiveness, reconciliation, acceptance. It is His death alone that opens up the way to eternal life for each and every one of us. Our part is but to follow Him: to accept from Him the forgiveness, reconciliation and acceptance He has won for us and to keep in step with His Spirit as day by day He leads us on to the consummation of God's great plan for His creation, His great plan for us.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him
shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
'For God so loves you that he has given his one and only Son, that you - if you believe in him -
shall not perish but have eternal life.'
The way is open. The invitation has been issued. The vision can now become a reality. But not for the dreamer. There's a road to be travelled, a Pioneer to follow and the journey - your journey? - must
begin at the cross.