Today’s Bible readings can be found at this link: Exodus 15:13-27 and Luke 9:51-62.
Luke 9:62 “Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (NIV)
Twenty-two years ago today, our family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee and our lives have never been the same. We left our families, friends, and culture to begin a new journey of faith exploration with the congregation of Erin Presbyterian. The decades have flown by, almost too quickly, and I sometimes find myself wondering what would have happened if we had remained in Scotland.
The temptation to dwell in the past and be nostalgic about all things Scottish is constantly with me, but the attraction to keep progressing toward the future is much stronger. I keep watching to see what God has in store up ahead rather than looking back. I want to experience new things, new creations, new places, and new people. I still love my family and friends from the past, however, each new day brings something fresh and reminds me that I am made by God to enjoy His creation, not to languish in past moments, but to look forward to new dreams, visions, and ideas that the Holy Spirit initiates and creates.
In today’s Gospel passage, I like what Jesus has to say about not looking back in order to serve God’s Kingdom. As Christians, we are called to move forward, to progress with passion, and to face the future with faith. Of all the people on Earth, we are the ones whose hopes and dreams should encircle and embrace the whole world. Christ put this beautiful spinning jewel of a planet into our hands, to make the world a better place – environmentally, socially, as well as spiritually. We do this, by plowing forward and joyfully wondering at what is still to come. We are people of faith who are constantly traveling ‘onward and upward,’ as CS Lewis wrote in the Tales of Narnia.
Twenty-two years have come and gone so quickly for me, but there is the whole of Eternity with God still ahead for all of us.
Point to ponder:
What am I looking forward to in my life? Where is God in my future?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, guide our spirits with Your love and show us the path You want us to follow. Help us to make this world a better place each day and keep us focused on the wonders and glory that lie ahead. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
Today’s image is one of John’s latest Pentecost drawings called ‘Firefall.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click here.
John Stuart is the Scottish pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.