Some years ago a friend, named Milo, took me on an ATV ride in the winter with some of his friends. As the day wore on it was time for me to get back and Milo had to have his ride trailered back due to mechanical difficulties. His friend offered to lead me back since I was not familiar with the trails. As it got dark all I could see to follow was the tail lights of his ATV. We were sliding around corners moving at a pretty good clip. I tried to stay close enough to him to not lose him but far enough not to run into him. At one point he was going a bit too fast and I was a little too close. He slid off the trail and I followed him, right into the deep snow, and bumped into his stuck machine. It was a little embarrassing. Well we got ourselves unstuck and back on the trail and made it safely home.
That’s the issue of following sometimes you end up in places you might not want to be. In situations that would not otherwise be chosen by you. Yet to get home you have to follow all the way.
It is the same way when we become a Christian. We become a follower of Jesus Christ. He is to be the one who leads us through life. The Scripture calls him the Good Shepherd. A good shepherd is one who leads the sheep and the smart sheep are the ones who follow.
I’m not sure what the disciples had in mind when they answered the call to “Come follow me…”I’m sure that they may have had a lot of questions; What does this mean? Where will this lead? What if I don’t like Jesus after I begin to follow him? But I’m also quite sure that they didn’t expect it to involve the crucifixion of their leader.
The disciples route took many unexpected turns. There were surprises and disappointments all along the way but they were committed to following Jesus. They found themselves preaching, healing the sick, and casting out demons. But they also found themselves at odds with the ruling religious community and watching Jesus die on the cross. But they also witnessed a resurrection Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. They had the good and the bad.
Following Christ isn’t always easy. Sometimes he leads us in ways we wouldn’t otherwise go, or puts us in situations we might not choose for ourselves. But he knows what is best for us and he is with us all the way leading us, giving us the strength to go ahead. The end result is a “well done good and faithful servant,” and eternity with God in heaven.
Let us continue to be strong followers.
In Christ, Pastor Jeff
Full copy of the April Newsletter can be viewed at: April Newsletter