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The Journey of Faith

Nov 23, 2005 04:24 PM EST

We are creatures of comfort.

We like to be safe and secure

to be surrounded by what we know

to be in control

to order our lives in the way that suits us.

We want our journeys mapped out for us

itinerary decided, tickets booked

time of arrival guaranteed

refreshment breaks at regular intervals

and a credit card for unforeseen circumstances.

But Jesus said ‘follow me’ without saying where he was going

just promising transformation along the way.

The Israelites in the desert, rescued from slavery and oppression,

were tired and homeless, hungry and thirsty, insecure and unsettled.

And their minds went back to what they had known.

They yearned for the structure of predictable slavery rather than the broken walls of unknown freedom.

Liminal space is the place of inbetweenness, of insecurity.

It is the Israelites in the wilderness,

it is Paul blind in Damascus waiting for Ananias.

Liminal space is emptiness and nowhere,

it is uncertainty and chaos,

it is a place of discomfort and unrest.

Liminality is a place of dying and rebirth, of metamorphosis, the place where the caterpillar spins its cocoon and disappears from view.

Nothing good or creative emerges from business as usual. Much of the work of God is to get people into liminal space and to keep them there long enough so they can learn something essential.

This is the invitation of God

To move from comfort to insecurity

From what we know to what we have yet to discover

From what we are good at to what we might fail at

From safety to a place of risk

God of broken people and broken places

We confess to you our love of comfort,

of the known and predictable,

of the safe and secure.

We recognise that you call us into liminal space

To leave what we know and venture with you into desert and wilderness, into blindness and discomfort

We want to follow you, but it’s hard to leave what we know

Help us to trust you, and to set out.

On the journey of faith,

Far I have come, far I must go

God of broken people and broken places

We thank you for all that Grace has been to us and to many others

We thank you for the space to listen, to grow, to create, to be challenged

We recognise that you are calling us on

To leave what we know and venture with you into new things, into engagement and participation, into creativity and risk, into new structures and opportunities

We want to follow you, but it’s hard to leave what we know and we’re not sure where we’re going

Help us to trust you, and to set out.

On the journey of faith,

Far we have come, far we must go.

God of rebuilt people and rebuilt places

You have plans for deserts and wilderness

‘Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.

The burning sand will become a pool,

The thirsty ground bubbling springs.

In the haunts where jackals once lay,

Grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness.’

God of transformation we look forward to what you will do

With our lives and with Grace

On the journey of faith,

Far we have come, far we must go.

Michael Shaw

Post Contributor