Patterns on the Path

Along our journey we have seen examples of good behaviors and bad behaviors.  We should be starting to see the patterns.  Seeking God’s will and answering His call leads to blessing.  Rejecting His ways and ignoring His Word doesn’t.  Which we will do is our choice.

William Williams lived in Wales in the 1700s.  It was the era of the Great Awakening and Williams was a leader in the Welsh Methodist movement.  He found comfort in patterns of scripture reading, prayer, and singing.  The patterns extended to more than his devotional life, though.  He traveled over 100,000 miles through the countryside preaching and establishing seiadau, which were local fellowships of Methodist people.  Wales is barely more than 150 miles from north to south and even less from east to west.  To travel 100,000 miles Williams had to cover and retrace the same roads hundreds of times.  There were patterns in his journeys, and all roads led to God.  He saw the Holy Spirit moving and transforming communities day by day, week by week, and year by year.  Williams saw patterns of blessing where souls were fed by the Spirit.

Williams wrote hundreds of hymns during his ministry.  Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah is one of his best known hymns.  In all of his travels, Williams continued to hunger for God’s guidance.  We need to feed that same hunger.

Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,
pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
hold me with thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me till I want no more;
feed me till I want no more.

Search for God’s patterns in your life and for your life.  Then live those patterns.

Follow the Path!

[Use with Peace in Promise, day 33 of A Labyrinth Pilgrimage]

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The Path Foretold

Knowing the future brings hope to some people.  The same knowledge brings fear to others.  When the nation of Israel had been conquered and the people were living in captivity, the prophet Isaiah delivered a message.  A child would be born.  He would be a leader.  He would bring peace.  But not yet.  Not yet.

Hundreds of years passed before Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  When it finally happened angels sang to shepherds.  A star appeared in the sky.  Wise men travelled from far away lands.  Heaven and earth rejoiced.  But kings were caught off guard.  Priests had to search the scriptures for information about the birthplace of the Messiah.

Why did those who were lowly and distant rejoice, while those with power and prestige in Jerusalem did not?  Fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy marked an important turning point in history.  A turning point so dramatic that the world bases its calendar on time before and after Jesus’ birth.  As exciting as that was, though, it was welcome news only to those who wanted a turning point and were willing to follow.

On our pilgrim journey we must be open to God’s leading.  Georg Neumark expressed this in his hymn If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee.  Ponder his words.

If thou but suffer God to guide thee,
and hope in God through all thy ways,
God will give strength, whate’er betide thee,
and bear thee through the evil days.
Who trusts in God’s unchanging love
builds on the rock that naught can move.

Jesus’ birth was not the end of prophecy.  The joyful news of Christmas was followed by His life, death, and resurrection, which were also foretold.  And even more is yet to come.  Jesus will return.  This path has been foretold, and we must follow it.

Follow the Path!

[Use with Prophecy, day 32 of A Labyrinth Pilgrimage]

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