Posted by: pmarkrobb | September 1, 2014

an invitation

Today we tear another page from the calendar.  I wonder if anyone else noticed there are only four remaining in 2014!  It’s not likely I’d get any argument suggesting that this summer, and this year, has been a vapor.  Some children have already started back to school.  My two boys will tomorrow.  I could swear we were just sitting around the kitchen table making our summer reading and bucket lists, but alas, last night we sat around that same table and looked back to see how we did.

As common as this feeling may be, I expect there are many who would be quick to qualify the “vapor.”  They wouldn’t have to think long before recounting stories of “seasons” during the summer (or year) where they weren’t sure the clock would ever strike twelve midnight or a new week or month would ever come.  I join those who would be quick to qualify.  My year has flown by but it has also been marked by periods where time seemed to stand still.  Periods defined by deep darkness and pain that fought to swallow the promise of a new dawn.

Yet through it all, I have heard the words of Jesus speak.  Sometimes they were whispers of general encouragement, challenge or comfort for the bigger journey.  Many other times, targeted truths spoken directly into the events or details of my right then.  Time and time again, the daily readings of the words of Jesus came alive in my life and I experienced the deep truth of Hebrews 4:12:

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

I’ll confess to having the thought several times that the focus God laid on our hearts at Journey onWord last Fall might have been just for me.  I wish I had the forethought in January to begin to journal my personal stories of sacred intersections with the words of Jesus this year.  I wonder if you would say the same or can remember vividly where the Spirit has used them to encourage, challenge or comfort you.

In researching, drafting and then finalizing the daily reading schedule for 2014, there was always a gap at the very end of the schedule.  No matter where we drew the lines of division or intentionally placed passages in the schedule, we always came up a bit short in covering the entirety of the calendar year.  After considering “options” late last year for the twenty-six open days in December, we decided to leave them open to God’s leading.  Specific inspiration for filling the gap came just recently as the thoughts I expressed above began to form.

In confident belief that God has used the words of Jesus intentionally and meaningfully in more than just my life this year, we would like to offer the opportunity for you to partner with us in filling the final 26 days of our reading schedule.  We pray you will take some time and reflect on the nearly three-quarters of this year that has passed and share a specific passage with us that has been especially meaningful in your life.  If you have a story that accompanies it, we’d love for you to share that too.  We believe this will be a powerful way to end a very meaningful year at Journey onWord.

We are trusting God with this invitation, so respond as (and when) you feel led.  It has been our great pleasure to share a journey with you through scripture again this year.  What a great way to spend it, focusing only on the words of Jesus.  Thank you for coming alongside.  God bless your time of reflection and the remainder of our journey together this year through the words of Jesus.


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