Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Helen Howarth Lemmel in “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” (1922)
As the time approached when Jesus was to be taken up into heaven, he determined to go to Jerusalem. He sent messengers on ahead of him. Along the way, they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival, but the Samaritan villagers refused to welcome him because he was determined to go to Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to consume them?” But Jesus turned and spoke sternly to them, and they went on to another village.
It’s the time of year for family vacations. On vacations together with our daughters, I’ve learned that most of the time, the journey to our destination is what we often remember. “Remember when…?” Sometimes those same experiences cause some friction and disagreements along the way. (Often preceded by the question, “Where do we want to eat?”)
In our passage today, Jesus is journeying with the disciples. The text tells us that he was committed to getting to Jerusalem. The disciples didn’t understand his resolve or the real purpose of this journey the way Jesus did. In the last couple of verses the disciples get very angry that things weren’t going the way they expected. Yet, Jesus just moved on.
How is your faith journey going this summer? Is it what you expected? There are plenty of reasons for our faith journeys to be difficult and not what we expect. Yet, following Jesus’ example, we must keep walking. Even in our faith journey, it’s the process of getting there and not the destination that matters most.
God, give me the courage today to take the next step in my faith journey.
Regardless of what I have experienced along the way, help me each day to wake again, committed to walking with you another day… regardless.
We are travelers on a journey
Fellow pilgrims on the road
We are here to help each other
walk the mile and bear the load.
I will hold the Christ light for you
in the nighttime of your fear;
I will hold my hand out to you,
speak the peace you long to hear.
Richard Gillard in “The Servant Song” (1977)