Last week here at Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church we were considering the implications of being “Citizens of Heaven,” a phrase Paul uses in his letter to the Philippians. Our sermon from the day can be found here.
This week, as we reach the third Sunday in Lent, we will be thinking about God's direction and looking at 1 Corinthians 10:1-13. When you are trying to get somewhere it is always helpful to have some traveling instructions. There are many different options open to us today.
We can ask somebody the way. I know some folk have a problem to stopping to ask directions and I partly share that hesitation. I heard about an American tourist on vacation in Ireland who stopped to ask a local how to get to a certain place. They were advised, “Well sir, if you want to be going there... you don't want to be starting from here.” That's not exactly helpful.
We can use a physical map. Remember those? I used to have the side pocket of my car filled with a variety of state maps and have even more on my bookshelf at home. Often when I entered a state on the interstate I would stop at the Tourist Information and see if they had a recent map. Usually they gave them away for free. You can build up quite a collection after a while!
In the U.K. the “Automobile Association” used to offer a service for their members that would provide you with a route map to wherever it was you were headed on holiday. Often it would include recommended stops along the way and adverts for hotels you could never afford to stay at!
These days we can “Google” directions. There are numerous sites that offer us multiple routes to reach our destination. In many vehicles are built in Satellite Navigation Systems that speak to us as we are driving along, giving us turn by turn directions. My wife has complained that I listen more intently to that ladies voice in my car than I sometimes do to her. Ouch!
Various“apps” (as well as the good old car radio) offer us up to the minute details, alternative routes, weather reports and numerous other items of information to digest and consider as we make our way to our destination. There is no shortage of ways to find advice for the journey. The same applies to our spiritual lives.
We have each other to guide us. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 11:1 tells us “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” So we are invited to take notice of Christ like behavior in people around us and imitate it. We have our personal spiritual road map in the 66 books of the Bible. Scripture covers the vast terrain of human experience and God's revelation, culminating in the coming of Christ, who described Himself as “The Way.”
We have times of worship when we can seek together the guidance of God upon our lives. Just as the internet is a world wide community, so the church provides an international interface of faithful folk. When we are unable to be in worship, many faith communities offer ways to connect online... such as our Mount Hebron Presbyterian website “www.mthebronpc.org”.
Through prayer, through worship, through following good examples and seeking God's guidance over our lives... there are many ways to find traveling instructions for our spiritual lives. For some music Don Moen sings “God Will Make A Way.”
The Reverend Adrian J. Pratt B.D.