Thursday, April 13, 2017

Ready to Travel

Holy Week
Thursday, April 13, 2017
“These are your instructions for eating this meal:  Be fully dressed, wear your sandals, and carry your walking stick in your hand.  Eat the meal with urgency, for this is the Lord’s Passover.   Exodus 12:11(NLT)
For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself.  On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it.  Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.”  In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood.  Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.”  For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.  1 Corinthians 11:23-26(NLT)
Of all the people I’ve ever known, my Dad was the itchy feet king!  He was ready to travel at all times.  His wanderlust[ii] was born of a natural sense of curiosity about what’s beyond the next bend in the road.  He had an intense desire to see America, particularly the historical sights, up-close.  There was a map hung on a cork board in our house that had stick pins at places to which Mom and Dad had travelled over the years.  Strings were tied from one place to another, indicating a planned next trip, or a completed recent trip.  My Dad was always ready to travel!
Through Moses God told Israel the same thing; eat this meal with your shoes on and travelling sticks in hand; be ready to travel!  The Passover is the meal of haste, eaten with the understanding the call to move-out of Egypt might be trumpeted at any time. 
Our Lord’s Supper feast is also fast-food for the Christian church.  With this meal we remember the Passover of Jesus’ last night on earth and, much like the fundamental message of the Passover, where Jews remember the bitterness of bondage in Egypt, we remember the bitterness of sin’s bondage, from which we’ve been released.
There’s an urgency about this call to the table.  In one sense the grace we experience (or should experience) whenever we celebrate this communion is reason enough to hurry to the table.  Who is not in need of God’s grace, pressed-down, shaken-together, and running-over?[iii]
But there is also another reason to keep walking stick and sandals at the ready:  going home.  I recall those road trips with Mom and Dad, and how, because there was no money for motels, we camped.  My brother and I set up the tent every night, slept on the ground in sleeping bags, then broke it down and packed it in the station wagon every morning.  By the time the trip was over our parents had two pooped kids!  (Well, maybe that was their plan). 
But the best part of the trip…always…was arriving back at Holly Lane in Smithtown.  Coming back home, worn-out, full of travel memories, but home…HOME
The New Covenant is like that; starting place (in Christ) is also the destination.  Just like we drove away from the little house on Holly Lane on our new adventure the first two weeks of August every year, it was to the little house on Holly Lane we returned.  And it somehow looked different when we got back – so welcoming; so right.
We are walking pilgrims now, having started our journey with, and in-Christ.  The cross is the beginning of that pilgrimage, and we walk by faith towards a real place that is our real home, not one made with hands.  We start in Christ and are always moving towards Him.  The moments on this trail are filled with tests, trials, opportunities and some heartache as we see the tragedies and triumphs of the grandest experiment since creation – the making of a people who will love God and enjoy Him forever.

For You Today

Got your shoes on, walking stick in hand?  Are you ready for that?
You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road…have a blessed day!

 I Title image: By MRabe! (Self-photographed), via Wikimedia Commons and By Hysocc (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons
[ii] “Wanderlust” is an intense desire to travel
[iii] Luke 6:38

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