spiritual journey

Joseph’s Journey

“When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.” Matthew 11:24 NIV

Like everybody who says “yes” to God, Joseph could not begin to comprehend the implications of such a divinely inspired decision. Unknowingly he was signing up to embark on a sacred journey of trust into uncharted territory. Not unlike Bilbo Baggins answering Gandolf’s invitation in The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey, it would take Joseph places he could never have imagined going, both in the natural and more importantly within his own soul. Had he or Bilbo known what the journey held in store, they would probably have stuck with their initial “No.”

Joseph’s acquiescence must have led to great anticipation as he and Mary settled into life together in his home and prepared for the birth of the child. Undoubtedly he was breathing a sigh of relief thinking the “big” decision was now behind him. He was surely enjoying the new found sense of peace and freedom from the recriminations of initially feeling betrayed by Mary.

Answering God’s call ultimately bids us to venture beyond the comforts and predictability of home. And unlike Lot’s wife we had best accept that eventuality right now; as there is no profit in lingering or looking back. Unbeknownst to Joseph, nearly 1500 miles away in Rome, a decree was being issued that would subsequently make its way by courier to his little village of Nazareth at the far eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea.

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Just Passing Through

”Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.” Psalm 84:5-7 NIV
These verses describe the spiritual journey each person who longs to wholeheartedly seek after God must take. They embody the essential elements of every epic tale or narrative.
The Bible, mythology, literature and cinematic productions all enthrall us with the story of the hero or heroine venturing forth on a quest to fully apprehend that for which they have been destined. Whether it is Abraham and Sarah, Bilbo Baggins, Indiana Jones or Dorothy, the script follows the same story line.
1. There is an inward beckoning or outward call to leave the security of home for a stouthearted journey into the unknown. (“set their hearts on pilgrimage”)
2. There is the fated passage through one or more deep valleys and trials. (“they pass through the Valley of Baca”)

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