Throughout the past fall and winter I felt nudged by the Lord to start a new Journey group. Amidst the many challenges I was facing personally and we were facing organizationally, I was searching for a way to be more intentional with my own life with the Lord, and with others. How could I cultivate a greater attention and prayerfulness with the things that matter most in my life? How could I find a space and a place to bring some of those important things, which I have been placing on the backburner of my attention, to the front burner.
So I started a Journey group in late March, meeting at noon on Fridays, about twice a month. There are seven of us, all guys, each of us from different contexts and churches. It has been timely for us all. It is such a privilege to get a front row seat on others’ development in Christ. I am prayerfully looking forward to the places the Spirit is going to lead.
This past Friday we finished up Stage 1 and what grabbed me in particular was the prayer at the end of the Personal Biblical Mandate session. I would encourage you to read this one out loud a few times, seeing what grabs you, finding those particular phrases or images you need to reflect further upon and pray more intently. In reading and reflecting upon Jeremiah 1-2, Walter Brueggemann writes/prays,
You are the God who makes extravagant promises.
We relish your great promises of fidelity
and presence and solidarity,
and we exude in them.
Only to find out, always too late, that your promise always comes
in the midst of a hard, deep call to obedience.
You are the God who calls people like us,
and the long list of mothers and fathers before us,
who trusted the promise enough to keep the call.
So we give you thanks that you are a calling God,
who calls always to dangerous new places.
We pray enough of your grace and mercy among us that we may be among those
who believe your promises enough to respond to your call.
We pray in the one who embodied your promise and enacted your call, even Jesus.
I am sharing this prayer today, as well as a few questions I am asking myself:
Where is this promise-keeping Lord calling us to currently?
Where might the God and Father of your Lord Jesus Christ be leading me, and you?
Where are those dangerous new places in our lives?
Spirit of God, be generous to us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.