In 2003 we pitched our tent at a camp ground in Kanab, Utah, after a trip through the amazing Zion Canyon. Next to us was a caravan/trailer that seemed to have been there for a while. We struck up a conversation with the lady and she told us that they were on a trip from point a to point b when their car broke down. They had been in Kanab for a number of years. Continuing their journey no longer appeared important.
On reflection, it seemed to be an excellent metaphor for many church groups that we have encountered. The church’s task is to prepare for the return of the King and to proclaim the Kingdom of Christ. However, on this journey, many churches have stopped dead in their tracks and look to be more concerned about buildings, constitutions, rules, ineffective programmes and etc. rather than the return of the King. The journey has disappeared as part of their focus.
Peter writes in 2 Peter 1: 10 & 11 “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” There are two points I want to highlight from this passage. The first is the strong sense of journey or pilgrimage that underlies this passage. The Christian journey is not static. There is a call to to spiritual growth and obedience as well as the sense of heading to the “eternal kingdom.” The second point goes hand in hand. This requires effort. Yes, we are saved by grace alone, but in that grace and divine power we are called to exercise our spiritual muscles and to making every effort to confirm our calling and election – individually and communally. Or are we like that lady in Kanab? Have we forgotten about the point of the journey?