Are we there yet?
Long journeys… remember them? Perhaps, with Covid restrictions easing, you have ventured further afield to visit friends or family, or you’ve gone somewhere just for the joy of being somewhere different.
It strikes me that on most long journeys we all reach a point where we ask, internally if not audibly, are we there yet?
Daniel 4, the passage we will be considering this week, is about a journey. This may not be an obvious point to make, but I think it is an important one, especially as we think about our theme of being faithfully present.
On Sunday, I’d like us to think a little about Nebuchadnezzar’s “faith journey”. His spiritual journey comes into focus if we “read long”; if we read Daniel 1- 4 as a whole rather than each chapter as standing alone.
Reading long, like reading Daniel 1 to 4, is something we, as a church, will be able to do together in September.
We will be part of a number of Churches in the UK who will run the Immerse bible reading programme.
I’ll write some more about what Immerse is, and why I’m excited about this, in a separate post in the weekly email, but basically it is all about engaging with the Bible, listening to each other, and encountering God.
So, you are all invited to join in with this 8-week journey as together we read through the New Testament.
But seriously …are we there yet?
Back to old Nebuchadnezzar and his journey. In the run up to chapter 4 of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar sees God do some amazing things, responds to God in the moment, but then turns back to living his life just as before! There is encounter but no transformation.
I suspect we all know people who, like Nebuchadnezzar, have seen God do amazing things, but don’t then follow through in following Jesus. I think the encouragement of Daniel 4 is that God remains faithfully present to such people, so we too need to remain faithfully present to them as expressions of God’s love.
I wonder what you feel about this, about people who, having experienced God do something, then carry on seemingly unchanged?
I wonder what stories you have of long faith journeys, of wondering if your friend or family member will ever “come to Jesus”, of crying out “are we there yet”, only for the person in unexpected circumstances to turn to Jesus?
I wonder what encouragement you can share, advice you can give, on how we travel long with people, of how we stay the road and remain faithfully present?
As always, you can email me your thoughts – be quick and they may make it into my sermon – or you can post your thoughts and encouragement in the chat if watching QPLive on YouTube.
Grace and peace,