Yikes! Those are frightening signs, aren’t they? I see them almost every morning—while I’m running—at, of all places, a county park near my home. There, in the middle of a beautiful place dedicated to peace and relaxation, is the jolting reality that if you take your recreation to the wrong place (even a park), to put it succinctly, there will be no more peace and relaxation!
So, when I’m running at the park, typically early in the morning before the sun is up, I’m careful. This park has wonderful paths for runners. Stay on the path and (with the exception of the occasional errant creature) I’m pretty much OK. No alligators, snakes, poisonous weeds, etc. there. Stay on the path, Jon.
Stay on the path.
Maybe there’s a lesson there for all of us. Each of us live lives that pull us in so many directions. That’s true in our personal lives, our professional lives, even the lives of our congregations. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light,” says the Psalmist, “for my path.” Ps. 119:105 God’s Word unfailingly directs us on the path that we should go, providing the content of our faith and clarity for our ethical decisions. It directs us in the way of Jesus, who came “to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10
In fact, in doing so, Jesus proclaimed that he himself is the path—or more specifically, “the way.” John 14:6 He is the one who walked the way of sorrow on our behalf—ending in crucifixion. And he is the resurrected one who walks with us, revealing himself through Word and Sacrament, as he did with the two disciples on the way to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35).
Where is the way of Jesus taking you—your life, your work, your congregation—today? Stay on the path. Follow the Way!
By Rev. Dr. Jon Braunersreuther
Mission and Ministry Facilitator, Area D