Grace and peace to you!
The metaphor of journey is a familiar one as we talk about our lives of faith and our relationship with God. The Bible make references to walking with God and choosing our road or path for living. As we reflect on the story of God’s people through the Bible they were a people on the move; they were a people on a journey. Abraham and Sarah are called by God to go and travel to the land that God will show them. Eventually the nation of God’s people birthed through Abraham and Sarah travel into Egypt, stay there for a while and then exodus from there and journey through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. After years of living in Canaan they are exiled from there and forced to journey to Babylon. After years in exile in Babylon, “a way” or road his made for their return to the place they had made home. Then God comes to earth in Jesus to dwell among his people. As Jesus calls people to lives of discipleship we often hear him say, “Follow me!” And the people that did follow literally took the paths that Jesus took walking with Jesus from town to town sharing with him in the mission of God.
12.5 years ago Tanya and I came to East Zorra to join you on your journey of faith as God’s people in this place. The journey over those years has been a journey filled with highs and lows, struggle and pain, and lots of joy. I personally have valued walking the road of pastoral leadership with Tanya as we have share with you on our personal and corporate journeys of faith. As an East Zorra family we have learned together, challenged each other, energized and encouraged one another and have grown in our faith and ministry. Tanya ministry has blessed East Zorra in so many ways on our journey together. Ways that will be named and celebrated as we gather for worship and our farewell service for Tanya on Sunday.
On Monday Tanya’s journey alongside of East Zorra, as a member of our pastoral team, will end. Her journey with Jesus as one of God’s children, along with Don, Katarina, Ruby and Johanna will take another path in the landscape of God’s kingdom. The Dyck Steinmann path, like the East Zorra path, has some unknowns and risks but also new opportunities. There will be challenging tougher days, and good energizing days, as we each continue to travel our paths as followers of Jesus. As we each face the uncertainties of the future paths we travel, as we each discover the surprises and gifts of grace along the way, and as we each continue to live the mission God has for us, we will discover that God accompanies both of us and all of us!
Psalm 121 is often understood as a psalm for the journey. The Psalm reminds us that wherever the road and journey takes us and whatever we face along the way, the Lord our God will keep us and will guard both our coming and going. May we receive the gift and promises of this Psalm as we bless each other for the continuing journeys that are before us.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 He who keeps Israel [and Tanya, Don, Katarina, Ruby, Johanna and East Zorra] will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in
from this time on and forevermore. (Psalm 121)