Monday, May 18, 2015

Not Looking Back

When the days drew near for him to be taken up, Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." But Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home." Jesus said to him, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." Luke 9:51-62

Recently I found an item in the grocery store. It was port wine cheese spread and made was a favorite of my dear friend Janie who lost her battle with cancer years ago. I still miss her. My daughter Emily was emptying a gallon milk jug and decided she had to wash it out for the 4th of July parade. She then realized it won't be necessary since my Mom has passed. It will never be the same and won't happen like it did for all those years. It made us both very sad. It's hard not to look back and wish for more time. It's hard not to look back and mourn, missing the days if celebration and joy with the people we love who have gone on.

Jesus was on his final road to Jerusalem. He wanted his disciples to hang in with him to the end and knew how hard it was for them. He also wanted them to understand there was more ahead than they could imagine. Yes, more hard work and even more blessings upon blessings. Even in our darkest hours, we are reminded that the blessings of the past are gone but that God will provide more blessings and more love than we can imagine today. Loss can make us think that we have been abandoned by God, when in truth, we are all awaiting new life, life transformed by love.

Today I ask God to help me focus on the road ahead. May we not look back and wander but may we look forward with hope and expectation. God's arms are thrown wide open to us today.

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