Tag Archives: transformation

The Journey Towards Transformation

The Turning Point in My Journey

Tomorrow I am driving to Bloomington, Indiana, to pick up my daughter Suzanne and her things and together we will drive home.  It will be short trip, but I am looking
forward to it.  I am not looking for any drama, but I am open to an adventure and change during the journey.

Journeys are a frequent theme in the Scriptures. A couple of weeks ago in worship, we read about the two disciples who walked seven miles to Emmaus and during the walk encountered Jesus.  Their simple walk became a spiritual journey of transformation. (I posted on this story here).

There are many other such journeys in the Bible.   The Israelites journeyed/wandered in the wilderness for forty years after their exodus from slavery in Egypt and prior to their
arrival in the Promised Land. Elijah the prophet made the journey from Northern
Israel to Mt. Horeb in Sinai to encounter God (I Kings 19).  Jonah made a side trip to the sea and a whale before making the trip to Nineveh. Jesus went into the wilderness for forty days to pray and fast before starting his ministry (Matthew 4) and later set his face towards Jerusalem for his passion (Matthew 16:21).   The book of Acts is filled with journeys, especially Paul’s missionary sojourns.

Contemporary literature also uses the metaphor of journey for spiritual transformation.  J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and C. S. Lewis’ Voyage of the Dawn Treader both use the journey motif as means to describe the main characters movement from self-centered, complacent beings to courageous, self-sacrificing heroes.   Their stories carry the Biblical image into our current worldview.

I don’t expect any major transformation during my drive to and from Indiana.  After all it is only three days.  But I think any journey has the potential to open us up to new perspectives and insights, especially if we invite God to be a part of the journey.  I’ll let you know when I return.

Jesus said, I am the way. (John 14:7)

Do you remember a trip or journey where the Spirit renewed or redirected your life?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, guide me this day on the path to life.

The Purpose of Scripture

The Bible is Word Power

Have you heard the concept, “The BIBLE stands for Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth?”   I struggle with that concept.  My fear is that we will turn the Bible into a glorified self-help book that we try to control, rather than the Word of God that comes to recreate us in God’s image.  God’s Word has more than great advice; it has the power to transform us.

N. T. Wright describes this transforming power. “The Bible isn’t there simply to be an accurate reference point for people to look things up and be sure they’ve got them right.  It is there to equip God’s people to carry forward his purposes of new covenant and new creation.  It is there to enable people to work for justice, to sustain their spirituality as they do so, to create and enhance relationships at every level, and to produce that new creation which will have about it something of the beauty of God himself.”   (Simply Christian, p. 182-183)  God’s Word is to actively work at transforming us into the image of Christ.   It calls and empowers us to love God by loving our neighbor in creative, just ways.

Jesus himself had to reinterpret the law because the Pharisees and other religious officials had misused it.   The Pharisee’s loved the Torah (first five books of the Bible), but in their love they tried to control and protect it by building sharp boundaries between holy and unholy.   They tried to avoid all contact with unholy people, so as to remain pure before God.   They used the scripture as their way to stand apart from those in need (lepers, tax collectors, prostitutes, sinners).  Jesus proclaimed a message that engaged the unclean and envisioned a new creation.   Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17).

How is God’s Word transforming your life?