Continuing the Spiritual Journey
by: E. Jane Rutter

Most mornings my 4-year-old grandson Mason has two requests of me: “Grandma, I want warm milk and to have a conversation about the maps.” He brings me the map of Israel David and I collected from our trips, points to a random spot and asks me to tell him about it.

Whether Haifa, Jerusalem, Bethlehem or the Sea of Tiberias, I try to bring Jesus and His ministry alive to Mason. Seeing our pictures in these spots as we scroll through the photos saved on my phone helps him see they are real. These are moments to treasure and as years go by, I may look back on them wistfully. I hope not.

Longing for moments gone by seems to me a fruitless and selfish pursuit, a “what if…” or “I wish I still had…” train circling an endless track. While we can savor these memories, as Christians our train runs in the present, fueled with Jesus’ presence as our link to the glory of eternal life.

Jesus had little time or inclination to be wistful for He had a single purpose on which to focus – bring all to God. Human, we know there were moments when Jesus felt anguish, questioning the hardship He was to endure. But, filled with the Glory of God, He rightly knew, prayed about and accepted His mission.

During His three-years revealing himself as the only Begotten Son of God, Jesus changed water into wine, healed the sick, calmed the sea, and challenged church leadership. Hanging on the cross for six hours, refusing the myrrh that could ease His pain, spat upon and mocked, deserted by all but one disciple. Bearing all for us.

From carpenter to prophet, unknown to beloved itinerant preacher, Joseph’s and Mary’s son to God’s Only Begotten Son, Jesus’ is The Miracle. And, in His brief time with us on Earth, Jesus conferred on every believer the power to perform miracles if only we follow Him.

Jesus calls us to claim this incredible gift, having sent “The Advocate, the holy Spirit … he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you” (John 14:26). We have great power for good.

Wistful? No. I don’t want to look back on my life and find that I chose not to follow Jesus for I can do little on my own. Lead me on this adventure, Lord, gifting your Easter joy to whomever and wherever it takes me.

And so I pray:

dear Jesus, help us follow You in all our waking and sleeping hours, in every exchange, moment and situation. Strengthen us in our weakness.

Lead us and give us the courage to perform miracles in Your name; to relieve the suffering of those in need; convert the misguided and hardened hearts and spread Your boundless love. We pray for our priests, sisters, brothers and humankind. Bring us all into Your Glory. Amen.