Friday, October 27, 2006

Journey to Jesus

The first time my children and grandchildren uttered Jesus’ name gave me an incomparable thrill. There’s just something about that name.

Learning about Jesus can start anywhere in life. Children and grandparents can acknowledge Jesus. Recently in my son’s congregation, a senior citizen made a confession of believing in Christ and was baptized. Some seek God in a time of crisis, and Mark records such a story about a woman ill for 12 years who hunted for Jesus.

On that day, the woman tried to reach Jesus in a desperate effort to be healed. However, he was surrounded by a shoulder-to-shoulder, tight knit throng (Matthew 9, Mark 5, and Luke 8).

Contending with a draining illness for 12 years, this woman joined the press of people. Energy depleted, she had few resources left. Doctors had tried to remedy her illness, but “instead of getting better, she grew worse” (Mark 5: 26). Fragile in body and emotions, she inched her way into the swarm.

A kid in the crowd might have complained “Mama we’re squashed together.” Luke describes the crowd as body-to-body, so close they nearly crushed Jesus. No air space. Somehow, despite the pressing crowd, she pushed forward.

She’d thought earlier, “If I just touch his clothes I will be healed” (Mark vs. 28). Finally, within tagging-distance, she shoved an outstretched arm toward Jesus. Wiggling her fingers a few inches closer she made contact with his clothing. The second her finger tips touched cloak-fibers, good heath returned.

Getting to Jesus is a journey. Throughout a lifetime, heart wounds, soul scars, and mind-boggling dilemmas add up, but Jesus-seekers receive divine attention when they set out on the expedition to find him.

During my teen years, I heard the question, “Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?” I didn’t have a clue what that meant. Although the phrase isn’t found in the Bible, it’s a biblical concept. Christians call God “Father” and Jesus becomes our brother and friend—very personal connections, relationships.

A God-message billboard encourages this journey to Jesus: “C’mon over and bring the kids—God.” Parents, start your children on their journey early. Like the woman who was ill—press on. Press in. And here’s God’s promise to journeyers: “Let us press on to acknowledge him . . . . he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth” (Hosea 6:3).

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