Posted on Tue, Sep 4, 2018
Pastor Bob Norton
An article in the Chicago Tribune by Chris Erskine began: “By any measure, the Pacific Crest Trail is a beastly thing, an angry anaconda that slithers up the entire length of California and all the way to Canada, some 2,650 rugged miles. That’s approximately 6 million steps – some of them glorious, many of them merciless.” Sounds like life, doesn’t it? Countless rugged miles. More steps than you can count. Some glorious. Many merciless. The Tribune article focused on the people who take it upon themselves to help the hikers on that grueling trail. They open their homes to the weary travelers and provide meals, mail service, and help. They’re called “trail angels.” The article said, “But along the way, mercy is at hand.” “Trail angels” – that would be a good description of Christians interacting with others in the world. The article focused on Donna Saufley and her husband who “set up tents and a trailer to handle the spring crush.” She calls their home, “Hiker Heaven.” According to the article, “She talks fondly about the payoffs of being a trail angel: witnessing the hiker’s emerging humanity, their grit, their brio, and the inevitable baring of souls. Traveling the trail ‘is humbling,’ she says. ‘I compare it to the peeling of an onion. You see people for what they are.’ “ Like the church. She and her husband will host 1,200 people in 2018 in their ordinary home. They don’t take any money. She says, “I always say that it’s a river of life that washes up to my shore.” The article concludes: “Donna Saufley loves it when her sanctuary is filled with hikers. Donna says, ‘The sounds of conversations mingling with music and laughter is divine to my ear.” What a beautiful and meaningful image for our Church of the Resurrection. What if we became a congregation of “trail angels” extending our hospitality of heart and home with weary travelers. Life can be difficult. We welcome the opportunities, but we have to “man up or woman up” to meet the challenges. We need help. That’s where the church comes into the picture. God’s “hiker heaven” for weary sojourners. In recent weeks at Church of the Resurrection, we have begun to embrace the prayer “200 for His Glory”. What if our average worship attendance became 200 each week. 200 adventurous hikers taking on the challenge of traversing the crest. Some would be exhausted. Some would be injured. All would be hungry and in need of God’s rest for their weary souls. Our Father would be delighted to see 200 “hikers” fill His sanctuary week by week. Truly the music and laughter and love would be a great joy in His divine ears. As we rejoice in Him, He would be rejoicing in the celebration of humanity being manifest at Church of the Resurrection. What glory this would be! Let us pray with fervent hearts “200 for His Glory!” and then become His trail angels in Flagstaff gathering weary travelers for His hikers heaven at Church of the Resurrection. What a great joy this will be!
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