The reality is that there are going to be pastoral roles in our life, and some are going to do great in that role, and some are going to flop in that role. There are going to be church communities in our life, and some are going to be magical, and some are going to bring great pain.
And, there are going to be moments when we are taking responsibility for our spiritual growth, and we are going to hit a sweet spot that is so great that we will struggle with arrogance, and there are going to be moments where we are going to spiritually drift, but the key that holds our expedition together is that “God is always going to be faithful.”
He’s been faithful to our church family. He’s faithful in our marriages. He’s faithful in our country right now. He is working. We might not see it, we might not agree with it, but He is going to be faithful to carry us through this journey, and usher us into His presence. He is faithful!
There’s a part of the story that I didn’t tell you about regarding George Mallory and that expedition team in 1924. George Mallory was a superb climber, but one morning Mallory and another climber broke away from the expedition team, and it’s said that at one point both climbers were last seen 300 meters from the summit (that’s 3 football fields), but they never returned to base camp, and at some point they must have fallen and perished.
In 1999 a journalist for North Face Clothing found Mallory’s body, notes, gear on Mt. Everest, and the journalist wrote, “Mallory’s head was faced uphill, and his arms were in a grasping-type position, probably trying to slow down a descent that was out of control. Then, around his body was a snapped rope and a broken leg as though he had died struggling.”
Listen to me; this expedition we’re on is hard. There are going to be storms and challenges along the way that are going to create setbacks. There is going to be temptation to want to quit, give up, get annoyed with other team members and go out on our own, but the God of Scripture never intends for us to make this journey alone.
This is the essence of the gospel. First, the journey is too great. God’s call on our life is to scale a mountain of perfection that we could never climb. God’s call on our lives is to be holy, to be perfect, and every single human being falls short of that standard.
Second, Jesus has already climbed the mountain. Jesus has already done the work. Jesus has already made it to the top. Jesus was found to be perfect in every way. Jesus fulfills every commandment to the point of death on a cross; therefore, our response is to turn to the One who is faithful. His name is Jesus!
It is Jesus who gives us His righteousness by grace through faith. It is Jesus who carries us to the top of the mountain. It is Jesus who welcomes us into His family. It is Jesus that makes us brothers and sisters. It is Jesus who brings pastoral authority into our life to help us along the way.
It is Jesus who indwells us with power and grace to persevere, and when we stumble along the path it is Jesus who is going to finish what He started, therefore, let us turn to Jesus.