Going to the airport always gets my heart beating a little faster. No, it’s not because I’m lugging a heavy suitcase around; it’s because it’s emotional. Why? It means that either I’m going somewhere, that someone is coming to see me, or that someone I care about is leaving. Admittedly the third option is the least preferred, but for the most part, airports are exciting places and there are always interesting people to meet or at least to watch.
I like to travel light, but veteran Wycliffe missionary, and Valorie’s dad, Jack Popjes says there are ONLY three things you need to travel. You need your passport, money, and your tickets. Each of those items are essential to make sure you not only arrive at your destination, but you also return home.
John 17 is a glimpse into the heart of Jesus – it is his longest recorded prayer. His journey to the Cross was nearing its end. He prays for himself, but he also prays for those who follow him. Some have said it’s a summary of all that Jesus wants the church to be. Jesus isn’t talking to the disciples, or to crowd of people… he’s talking to God the Father.
When Jesus prayed, he also had in mind a journey for those who would follow him. No, they weren’t going to board an airplane, but eventually they would leave homes, families, and comfort zones in order to be obedient to their Master. Later Jesus said to his disciples, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21) What are the three essentials every disciple needs to travel with Jesus? Read John 17 over several times to prepare your heart and mind to hear from God.
To be sure, Valley Church will send people to distant lands – we have teams going to Mexico, Zimbabwe and, Lord willing, Cambodia, Tunisia, and Dubai. But maybe our journey will just be across the street to talk to a neighbor. Maybe “stepping out” will simply mean opening our eyes to the people around us who need Christ.
Are you ready to go where Jesus sends you?
P.S. I want to invite you to join us after the second service for an opportunity to hear more about our vision for “Building Bridges Inside and Out”. We’ll have a light lunch, a short presentation, and opportunities to ask questions and interact with the elders and pastors. Families are welcome.