Jan Ekstedt

Jan Ekstedt

Walking the walk

Mark 11:1-11

When you’re asked if you believe in God, how do you express your belief in the spiritual presence of God? The answer depends on what your experience with God has been. Yet even if someone doesn’t believe in God, I believe that God can make a way out of no way. I know that as I’ve grown older, my reasons for believing in a God with big arms has grown as my experience with God has grown. In other words, like most of you, I have come to know that God has been in my life through the experiences that I have built up in the living of my life.

Our life experience of encountering God in the hidden moments of our need, or finding God in a blessing that we receive, always points toward holiness and Godly spiritual presence, and believe or not, that God-presence makes up a large part of our existence both in the material world and the spiritual world. In Psalm 127:2 we read; “It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; For God gives to His beloved even in their sleep.” So, Jesus invites us to walk the walk with Him that equates to spirit-presence in our lives, in the totality of our body, mind, soul and spirit. It adds up to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us, which comes through our walking the walk with God, and following where Jesus shepherds us.

You know, the spiritual tragedy of today’s world is that we have trusted and loved everyone and everything except God. We’ve abandoned ourselves to computer games, materialism, fame, power and the pursuit of secular wealth. We’ve forgotten that God loves us so much that Jesus Christ, the physical personification of God, was sent by God to teach us how to love! Instead, our society chases after the cheap highs of feel-good sex, alcohol and drugs, laid-back work ethics and the easy fix. We have forgotten about sobriety, ethics, morality and the invitation to eternal life that was given to us by Yahweh God, the Creator of the entire universe!

God has said, “I will never leave you, nor will I ever forsake you.” This is why I know I can trust God, why I can bring my unworthy, sinful, sick, abused and wounded life to God.

Quoting from the book “The Spirituality of Imperfection” by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham, we read that “God comes through the wound: Our very imperfections ... what religion labels our ‘sins,’ what psychotherapy calls our ‘sickness,’ what philosophy terms our ‘errors’ ... are precisely what brings us closer to the reality that no matter how hard we try to deny it, we are not the ones in control here. And this realization, inevitably and joyously, brings us closer to God.”

Jesus enters through our wounds, and by His stripes, by His wounds that were inflicted by His scourging and torture by the Roman army, we are healed.

Will we walk the walk, and trust God as Jesus did, being in the moment and knowing the presence of God-Spirit in our lives? Or, will we trust in everything but God, pursuing all that we can see and experience where the Dark Side rules? Will we walk the walk of our faith, as Jesus did, or will we go down the road by ourselves, without God, on a road that always leads to a dead end? Without Jesus Christ, where will we end up? Where will our God be when it all hits the fan and our lives go up in smoke? Well, in our own broken-heartedness God will be there with us, but God will be broken-hearted, too. Friends, we have a God who is in love with us; a God that has provided a way for us to live in eternity, through the trust, faith and blessing that we receive through our belief and following of Jesus Christ. We can truly love others because Christ first loved us. So, like Jesus, let’s walk the walk in our lives joyously, in our faith in God, and in our belief in the Resurrected Christ. And, by walking the walk with Jesus, we walk the walk that will end at the doorstep of heaven itself, because in Christ, there are no goodbyes, and never will be.

The Rev. Jan Ekstedt

First Christian Church

North Platte