We have all been on a harrowing journey this year as we all struggle to stay safe and work from home if we are privileged enough to do in the midst of this pandemic. So, I thought it would be important to get back to the basics of our faith and preach a sermon series on the “Road Trips of the Bible.” Who wouldn’t want to just get in a car and drive somewhere and leave all your cares behind? Obviously we can’t do that right now, but I did want to explore many of the stories of the Bible where God takes people on a journey of faith. So far, we started at the end of Easter, with the story of the risen Jesus on the Road to Emmaus with two disciples. Then we came back to the stories of Abraham and Sarah, Jacob and Esau, and Joseph’s trip from being betrayed to becoming a blessing for the world. This Sunday, we start to take a look at the journey of Moses and the liberation of the Covenant People out of slavery.
I have been getting a good response from people and in the Zoom Bible Study on Wednesday nights at 7:00 PM (ET). So, I’ve decided to expand this series to touch on many more journeys of ordinary people being called by God to live out the divine promise of blessing for the world. We are going to dive deep into these powerful stories throughout the Old and New Testaments that, I feel, gets at the whole meaning of what religion is supposed to mean. Let me explain.
The root word for “religion” comes from the Latin word for ligament: ligare. Ligaments are, as we all know, the connective tissue in our bodies that holds bones together. In its most elemental form, the word religion means to “bind back” or to “reconnect” that which has become disconnected. These stories of journey in the Bible display the passion in which God attempts to reconnect to us. The first eleven chapters of Genesis is all about how we are broken and disconnected from God – in the second creation account of Adam and Eve, the murder of Able by his brother Cain, Noah and the flood, the Tower of Babel. In all these stories, we see how we have become disconnected to God, to each other, to ourselves, and creation. Religion is the attempt to reconnect to God.
We probably all feel pretty disconnected right now, through staying at home and social distancing when we have to go out. We salute all our essential workers who are our healthcare workers, emergency responders, grocery store workers, sanitation workers, police and fire personnel, and so many more for their service to our society. We also know that many of them are struggling with all the suffering from risks that they are taking on our behalf. That sense of disconnection has always been with us, but now we just don’t have the thin veneers of cultural distraction to occupy our minds. We are like Adam and Eve hiding naked in the Garden after taking the fruit in the hopes to “see” as God does, desperate to cover ourselves.
God wants to journey with you though this crisis. The power of these ancient Road Trip stories found in the Bible is that they are so relevant to all our situations today. They involve a call to a promise from God that demands a response from humanity. Those brave enough to respond are not perfect, as the Bible attests to, but they embraced, struggled, and trusted in God even in the midst of the sometimes hidden nature of their call. Make no mistake; you too are being called by God to become what God’s dream for you can be. Maybe joining us as we dig into these ancient and timely stories of people responding to God can help you discover in a new way your own challenges, worries, and fears and know that you can overcome them with God at your side! That is what religion is about, anyway – finding God and learning who you can become.
I'm a follower of Christ, husband, father, friend, pastor, story teller, asker of questions, inspired by biblical narratives, social justice advocate, sports enthusiast, drinker of over priced coffee and general seeker of God's redemptive possibilities. Yeah, that about covers it. (If you discover something else, let me know!)