This is what the Lord says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…
- Jesus (Matthew 28:19a)
Alex was a youth director at another church across the river from the one I was serving.
I had met him a couple of years earlier at a meeting where we were planning summer camp. He had an idea he wanted to share but he wasn’t sure what the older guys would think about it. I recall thinking, yeah it can be tough to convince experienced people to try things a new way. I looked around the room and there weren’t any ‘old guys’ with us. I turned to my friend Matt and said out loud, “He means us…we are the old guys.” That was a first for me and…this happened over 15 years ago.
It was 2 or 3 years later when Alex came in to visit my office because he needed to talk. He said he was there to ask me to disciple him. By this point, I has been ordained for a few years, had been appointed to lead a congregation and a staff, and I had a Master of Divinity degree…and I was completely sure what he was asking of me. I had been educated, I had been trained, and I had experienced loads of programs but discipleship was all of those things and more. I was convicted that the principal mission Jesus gave us should be unclear or uncertain.
I believe that we are at the crossroads that Jeremiah wrote of and we need to look to the ancient path, the good way, and walk in it if our souls are to find rest. We need a better story to be immersed in and formed by. We have been guilty of the word given by Jeremiah 8 of healing people’s wounds lightly. We have settled for superficial good news that mutes are pain rather than the profound healing of our wounded hearts. We have said peace, peace but there is no peace in us or around us.
Discipleship is the transformative journey of following Jesus. Discipleship is the very core of who we are and why we are as a community. Discipleship is at the center of our work and worship as God’s people at University and we have been working and praying on being faithful to the calling we have received.
If this sparks curiosity in your heart for a deeper connection to God and a more intentional formation journey of faith, I hope you will attend a Course retreat. The next one will be held on March 24-26th. Space is limited but there will be more opportunities throughout this year and the year to come. To learn more, visit the Events page on our website. Contact Melissa Supak, or any of the pastors if you have questions.