Following Entails Journeying
Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how…” Read Mark 8:34-38

Winter drags on. I am rather tired of winter. I’m not too good at cold weather, grey skies, biting winds, snow shoveling, waiting for the car to warm, bundling up, Kleenex, coughs and the like. It is so easy for me to want to rush into spring, warmer weather, bluer skies, gentler winds, cleansing rains, warm sun, outward signs of life. But today, after a blanket of snow, I looked out of the window and was taken by the beauty of it. What had been a sloppy mess was covered in a blanket of white, hiding all that the spring melt will eventually reveal. It was a good reminder for me to simply enjoy every moment for what it is, not always what we might wish it to be.

As we begin our Lenten journeys, I also hear reminders encouraging us not to rush into Easter. Jesus asked all of his listeners to consider the costs of discipleship. It must have given the original listeners as much pause as it gives us today to hear the words, “If anyone would come after me, let them deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me.” We tend to look just at the goal, and put aside all of the moments in between the beginning and the ultimate triumph in the end. Following entails journeying. Let us not lose sight of all the encounters brought our way. Jesus led a life of encounters. It is the stories of those encounters that slowly exposed who he was to all who met him on the way.

Just as the slowly melting snow will expose the birth of new life to the creation that so majestically surrounds us, I pray your Lenten pilgrimage will slowly reveal Jesus to you once again. For I think you will find that at Easter, when the snow melts and we notice that new life has been about its business unobserved, you will find new life present for you as well. Life is full of pleasant surprises. I even find that I like the appearance of snow today.

Keeping the faith,

Pastor Clark