Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Finding Life on Jerusalem Road

Tuesday morning was my final supervision with Steve before he finishes the Relay programme. 80 miles away on the South Coast Kath was doing her final supervision with Lou with a bit of pottery painting and Psalm 23. Not something that had crossed my mind to do.

Over the last two months Steve and I have been studying Luke 9v51-19v27, following Jesus on the road to Jerusalem. This big section of Luke's gospel is concerned with some massive questions.
How do you inherit eternal life?
Who gets eternal life?
What is eternal life like and how does it impact life here?
Along the way we've had our gaze turned to Jesus. We've been excited at the prospect of eternal life with Jesus. We've been relieved and delighted to find that sinners like us simply get life by asking and recieving it from Jesus. I look forward to teaching the same material to Reading CU cell leaders in the Autumn.

The journey from Luke 9v51 (where Jesus sets his face to Jerusalem), and 19v27 (when he arrives) is full of familiar stories and incidents. We were surprised along the way to see the difference that context makes to meaning as we travelled in large sweeps through Luke's book.

A classic example being the good samaritan. A story often used to teach Christians to be merciful, but actually a parallel to the Rich Young Ruler, as Jesus pushes a lawyer beyond his limits. Jesus shows the man that there is nothing he can do to get eternal life. Mary and the Disciples provide the key as bookends to the parable, as they simply know Jesus and listen to his teaching. They discover the things that prophets and kings had longed to find.

Steve and I have met about 25 times since September to study, pray and talk and good coffee. We've journeyed through Galatians, Jonah, Ruth and Luke. It's been a long journey full of encounters with God. It's been the highpoint of my week this year, and something I'll miss. Thankfully gospel partnerships can be renewed and continued, and Steve is staying in Reading next year which is good.