One day, Jesus went for a walk and never went home again.
OK – technically he did go back to Nazareth for a few hours, when he read the passage from Isaiah in the synagogue and outed himself as the Messiah. But then he was immediately run out of town, so that didn’t really count as a homecoming.
And Jesus never went back after that.
He never went back because Nazareth was no longer his home, he wasn’t welcome there, and he couldn’t do his work. Ministry work, I mean.
When you’re born again, you leave your own personal Nazareth (each of us has one of those) and start your trek towards Heaven. Like the Hebrews who followed Moses out of Egypt, heading for the Promised Land, many born-agains will begin the journey following Jesus with great enthusiasm, only to falter and start longing for the “flesh pots” they left behind. Nearly all will stumble and fall, and most won’t get back up again. Very very few will keep walking.
Theologians and preachers like to wax poetic about the “journey” that Christians embark on when they accept Jesus as their savior. They talk about this journey as a metaphor, as something that is more internal than external. But Jesus, and the Old Testament prophets before him, showed us that we have to walk out our faith both internally and externally, not as a metaphor but as a fact. The transition from non-Christian to Christian is both spiritual AND physical, and part of the physical manifestation is the walk that stops only at death.
One day, Jesus went for a walk and never stopped walking until he was nailed to a cross.
That is how you walk out your faith. Jesus showed us how to do it.
Not by talking about it and not by framing it as a metaphor, but by actually physically walking it out.
The start of your walk is the true start of your ministry, just as it was for Jesus. We’re all called to be itinerant ministers (“Go into all the world and preach the Good News!”), but there can be no true ministry without the walk.
When will you start yours?