The cross I wear around my neck every day has a twist in it, so that both the crosspiece and upright form the infinity symbol. Inscribed on the cross in miniscule letters is “A journey of faith is a journey of love”.
This cross has become an important symbol and reminder to me. The concept of journey, of being pilgrim people, is fundamental in the life of Christian discipleship and is one of the most frequently quoted parts of the Basis of Union.
The shape of my cross means only some of the words can be seen at any one time. Just as I can’t see the whole message at once, exactly where the path of discipleship will take us cannot be seen clearly.
I’m particularly conscious of that now, as both the activities of a new year commence, and as Lent begins on 13 February.
Already, as I write this in mid-January, many people are dealing with situations unimagined at the beginning of the year. The bushfires which have taken hold so quickly and with such intensity and unpredictability are graphic illustrations of this reality.
The journey of discipleship has, and will always, take us on costly, unknown but also exciting and fulfilling paths as we seek to follow the way of Christ.
In our recent celebrations of Christmas we have been reminded of the Light of the World breaking into darkness, of God in human form and vulnerability, always with love for all creation. God’s presence and care is a gift to all people.
Where will our journey of faith take us as the Uniting Church?
We will be confronted this year with decisions about use of our resources, about the way in which we provide support for congregations, agencies and institutions, about how we share the Good News which shapes our lives and actions so that others may come to experience God’s love and grace too.
It is clear that many of our old patterns cannot continue. We will have to make significant and difficult changes. Living God’s way both challenges and enables us to make those difficult decisions.
My prayer is that we will, as a Church and as individuals, have the courage and confidence to continue our journey of faith and love.
Grace and peace,
Isabel Thomas Dobson