“All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.” – Leo Tolstoy
Man on a Journey
In all the world’s religions, man is on a journey. Sometimes those pilgrimages are figurative, such as nirvana in the Indian religions, and sometimes they are literal. For example, one of the pillars of Islam is a pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslim men must make once in their life.
Even in humanism, man is on a journey: a journey to find whatever god he wants to believe in. In fact, in American society today, the journey itself is almost considered more important than the destination. It’s all about the searching and the questioning. Confidence is seen as arrogance; especially to those so proud of their doubt.
There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death. — Proverbs 14:12
Stranger in Town
Of all the worlds’ religions, Christianity is the only one in which God descends to His people.
Today is the Jewish holiday of the Passover. The Passover, like so many other of God’s ordinances to His people, was designed as a picture for the coming Messiah.
God didn’t want Jesus to be a Stranger to them, but for them to recognize Him as the Savior.
Sadly, wrapped in their laws and worshipping the tangibles of their religion, the Jews were blind to Who Jesus was.
He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. — John 1:10-11
Today I want to pause to think of the millions of Jews celebrating Passover this week, continuing to burden themselves with the law instead of accepting the grace of faith in Jesus Christ and finding rest (Matt 11:27-30). Their Sabbath has come, yet they continue to work.
For those of us believers who have accepted God’s grace, we are no longer strangers to God, but have been brought close to Him in reconciliation so that we have cause to rejoice when He comes again. Not as a Stranger, but as the King.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. — Philippians 2:5 – 11
The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
Let others follow it who can!
Let them a journey new begin,
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.
— J. R. R. Tolkein The Return of the King
All of us are all on a journey until we meet the Stranger who came to town. Our choice is either to let Him introduce Himself and we can follow Him wherever He leads. Or we can turn away from Him, choosing to go our own way.
The Passover in Exodus was eaten before the Israelites left Egypt and began the journey God had for them, from bondage to abundant life.
He wants to make that your story too. Have you let Him?