A Message from Rev. Dr. Sam Parkes: January 2019

ChurchPastor's Blog

Rev. Dr. Sam Pearson Parkes

Bags Packed! Ready to Go, God!

Hello, Beautiful People! Welcome to 2019!

This is the year! It’s time to hike forward together, to invite new friends to journey with us (they might even adjust our routes and plans), and to discover new horizons and destinations that God is calling us to.

I love to hike. Some of our church members may be hiking segments of the Appalachian Trail this year. I’ve always wanted to go on the El Camino pilgrimage through the Spanish countryside. My favorite Tennessee trail is the Fiery Gizzard trail in the South Cumberland Mountains. One destination on that trail is the Great Stone Door which is glorious. However, while arriving at the destination is very satisfying, the fun part of the hike is always being with others on the journey.

Are you ready to go?

You may want to know a few things before we pack up and start moving.

What is our destination as a community of faith?

Hmmm, not entirely sure! But isn’t that the whole point of faith? I’ve been reading Hebrews 11. It begins, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” To what are we headed? The promised land? The Kingdom of God? The New Jerusalem? Something like that, I suppose. A destination full of promise, but whose contours aren’t precise. But let’s go anyway! The author of Hebrews tells us that all those faith-hiking heroes of the past struck out with only one promise from God: Something Better.

Are we prepared to go, and do we have the equipment we need?

We definitely need to take inventory of our supplies. Our January worship series will help us do just that. The Greater Gifts series will begin by taking us to the beginning of our journey together: the waters of our Baptism. Then the Apostle Paul will describe God’s ideal equipment for moving forward in faith. First Corinthians 12 & 13 will help us discover God’s Greater Gifts, placed in our backpacks by the Holy Spirit.

Who is going with us?

Oh, this is the fun part! Going it alone is never as much fun as having companions. God wants us to bring new people along on the journey of faith. Some people will not want to go. Heck, there are days when I don’t want to go! But there are those right around us who are just waiting for an invitation to hike alongside us. Our next worship series, See All the People, will help us remember that we are not leading this hike! Jesus is! And where Jesus goes, he always draws a crowd! Are we willing to see them, meet them, and invite them?

Ooooh, I’m excited! My imagination is bursting with images of discovery, renewal, breakfasts at dawn, gorgeous vistas, working together to clear impassable trails, camp food, and singing around the firepit! It will not be an easy journey. And we don’t know our exact destination. But Jesus does. He just calls it, Something Better.

Rest up! We leave at dawn!