Within The Fellowship
"Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you." (Gen.12.1); "Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off." (Acts 13.3).
These texts tell us of two of the most important journeys in the history of mankind. They tell us of how God sent people on a mission to fulfil His purpose. These journeys are worth thinking of what they meant to those involved. They left behind friends, neighbours and an environment that were familiar to them in order to go to strange lands and live among strangers. They were pioneers, travellers, who lives would change and who would change the lives of others. In some way their experiences would never be matched.
Journeys in the Bible are worth pondering so that we picture the conditions under which people moved and lived. What were their houses and tents like? What was food like? Their 'inns' were not 'five star hotels'. Did they walk or ride an animal from one village or watering place to another?
Conditions on some journeys were cruel, as for example for Joseph in chains walking to Egypt. Similarly, for Israelites who trudged to Assyria. But the return journeys were equally triumphant ‑ from Egypt to Canaan and from Babylon to Jerusalem.
Some routes were exciting, like Jesus and His followers moving up the hill from Jericho to Jerusalem, and as Paul and comrades sailed from Troas to Neapolis. Men and women have since made many interesting journeys ‑ some quite wonderful - to the top of Everest, across Antarctica, to the Moon. How did the people of the Bible prepare for their journeys? How do we prepare for our journeys? Do we need a map, a compass, a check list? And why do we make those journeys? Are they a good idea? Are they prompted by God?
Life is like a journey. There is a lovely song to that effect. Are we properly equipped for that journey? Who are our travelling companions? What is our goal? Who do we meet? Do they need help? Jesus said, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho …go and do likewise. "