Journeys of Faith

Journeys are all kinds of things: exciting, challenging, adventurous, daunting. They can be long, they can be short, they can be mundane, or they can be life changing. 

This Sunday, we will be welcoming two children into the family of faith as children of God in St Mary’s church in Buckland. We will also be celebrating the start of their faith journey, as their parents and godparents make solemn promises to bring them up in the Christian faith, and we as the congregation promise to support them in that.

The Christian journey is all about learning our identity as beloved children of God, reconciled to God and to one another in Jesus Christ. It is about learning how to live as God calls us to do, a journey towards becoming our best selves, becoming the people who God created and intended us to be. To say that “life is a journey“ is such a cliche, but it’s also absolutely true! When we look back at ourselves in the past, and take a trip down memory lane, sometimes there is a smile upon our faces, and sometimes the memory is Incredibly embarrassing. We grow, we change, we transform. What we become is in large measure, determined by our attitude and approach to life, and our willingness to take risks, to be vulnerable, and to love and to be loved.

Recently, I began listening to Lord of the Rings, read by Andy Serkis. I’ve read the book many times, but this is a new experience, and I’m noticing things in a new way. At present, I am journeying with the Company of the Ring across the land of Hollin, and we’ve just begun the ascent up to the Redhorn Gate , attempting to cross the mountains above Moria. The snowstorm is swirling, they are about to have to turn back and find another way through.

So often the path which we thought would be the best turns out to be fraught with difficulty, or even impossible, but that’s not to say that the alternative is going to be easy. What may seem to be disaster can be turned into something positive if we allow it to be .

Above all we do not journey alone – God is with us. The God we encounter in Jesus is one who understands tired and blistered feet, who knows weariness and pain, and he knows what it is to have to take a journey into the heart of darkness. We have a companion, who will help us shoulder the load, and support us when we falter. 

Baptism is a time of celebration and joy, but I think that those setting out on a journey are well-advised to pack for all eventualities, because the sun does not shine every single day, nor indeed would one wish it too – if it did you’d swiftly run out of suncream and not have enough to drink! Life is full of joys and celebrations, especially if we open our eyes to see them and are determined to find things to be grateful for and to thank God for each and every single day. However, we also need to acknowledge our pains and our struggles, and allow our brothers and sisters in Christ – the family of the Church – to help us and to bring God’s healing to us. The journey cannot be attempted alone. 

So to my fellow pilgrims on this journey of life, as we travel with Jesus as our companion, let us celebrate these new members of our company this Sunday, and let us continue to encourage and support one another every step of the way. 

Blessings and peace,
Revd. Talisker