When we’re drowning we need a lifeline, and our lifeline in grief cannot be mere optimism that maybe our circumstances will improve because we know that may not be true. We need practices that don’t simply palliate our fears or pain, but that teach us to walk with God in the crucible of our own fragility. Tish Harrison Warren, Prayer in the Night
Dear Grace Family,
The picture above is of my friend Matt’s boot print near the summit of Mount Adams. If you look closely, you can barely make out the tiny imprints that his crampons made. Last week, along with my son, Matt and I were laboring our way towards the peak—trying to find enough oxygen in the thin air and straining to maintain our footing in the ever-steepening climb. It was overwhelming for me to think about the total distance we still had to travel. Instead, I had to drastically narrow my field of vision. I became fixated on his boot prints because I knew that my best chance to get up the mountain was to follow precisely in his footsteps. So, I began to focus all my efforts on taking one carefully-placed step at a time. We are at the end of Revelation. And, the pastoral burden of Revelation is to get us “home” faithfully.
As we have seen throughout the book, this is no small task. We face significant threats from the outside—the two beasts who want to destroy us and the harlot that seeks to seduce us, and each of them working under the diabolical authority of the dragon. Revelation has shown us that our world is governed and animated by systems and powers that are hostile to God and seek to destroy the faith of his people. We also face significant threats from within our own hearts. It is very tempting to compromise with the values of the world systems in an effort to alleviate or numb our pain. But—thanks be to God—the Lord has given us boot prints to follow in the midst of this glorious, life-giving, yet insanely difficult journey. Like the tracks I was following up Mount Adams, they may be hard to spot at times, but there are there. Jesus is really with us and intends to help us find our way home. So let’s keep putting one foot in front of the other. I hope to worship with you on Sunday.
This Sunday: Revelation 22:6-21 (NIV) Boot Tracks Leading Home
Warmly In Christ,
P.S. We will continue to hold in-person worship and livestream this week at 10:30 AM. As we mentioned previously, masks are no longer required for fully vaccinated folks. Pre-register for nursery here.