February 2014

Written by Tim Hancock   

I love travelling and over the last few years have had the privilege to visit a number of places. I’ve always been enriched by the experience of meeting many different people in many different settings. From the brash bling of Hong Kong to the bizarre beauty of South Africa. I have met people on the edges of society and seen the amazing power of God at work to heal, restore, release and forgive. I’ve met people who have discovered hope and a future through the grace of Jesus being shown in action through His people in an incredible number of different ways.

But what I always enjoy is getting there, the journey. Planning it, scheduling it, booking it and experiencing the ride, however bumpy and however long. Just after Christmas, Kerry and I travelled over to Finland. We started out by car, then took a plane, then a bus, then a train and lastly another car to get to our final destination. We could have done it a different way, ‘train, plane, bus’ or even ‘car, ferry, car, ferry, car,’ (but that would have taken us a week - maybe someday soon). There are such a lot of ways to get to where you want to go. In April we will be going car, plane, plane, car!

As I re-read the gospels – the good news about Jesus – I am intrigued by the many different ways people got to meet Jesus. Not just on donkeys or camels or on foot, maybe even chariots, but how they encountered him and who invited them and who took the journey with them. There were the four friends who took their sick mate on his bed but didn’t have to carry him home, who made a hole in the roof to get him to encounter Jesus. There was the woman caught in adultery dragged to Jesus by the Pharisees for him to give his verdict and she left forgiven and challenged to ‘sin no more’, given the grace of a new start. There was the brother (Andrew) who found his brother (Simon Peter) and brought him to meet Jesus, and we know what happened to that life. And there was even the person who was already in their coffin being carried out for burial, when Jesus bumped into the funeral party and brought colour back to their lives.

There are so many ways and places to meet Jesus, and so many ways to help other people take the journey to meet him. We can be confident that when they meet Him they will find grace, forgiveness, freedom, healing, wholeness, in fact, they will find just what they are looking for.

The challenge for us all is to care enough about someone we know, who we long to meet Jesus, and decide how we are going to help them take the journey to meet him. How will they get there? Thankfully there is more than one way, in fact there are countless ways. An invitation for a meal around your table, an invitation to an event at church, coming with them on a course designed to help them explore who Jesus is, getting them involved in something you are doing.

Some journeys will take a long time, there will be frustrations, delays and bumpy rides, but when they meet Jesus and understand His grace, His love and forgiveness, they will be able to walk free.

Why not take someone you know on a journey in 2014, the journey of a lifetime, to meet Jesus. It’ll be the best journey they have ever been on and the best destination they’ll have ever been to.

~ Tim Hancock.
 
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