By Pastor Mike Ashman   Zion Lutheran Church, Jubilee

Dear Friends,

We are entering a spiritual wilderness—somewhere between here and there—sometime between now and then. Anyone who has taken children on a long drive will recognize the small voice which repeatedly asks, “Are we there yet.” Or if you care to have a more Bible reference, the people of God wandering in the wilderness repeatedly asking Moses, “Why on earth did you bring us out here?”

In our church, we have just celebrated Thanksgiving—and this is usually followed by (no, not Black Friday… but a good guess) the first Sunday in Advent. This year though, we have the anomaly where we have Christ the King Sunday stuck in the middle.

“Stuck in the Middle”—now that is a concept I can relate to. The end of July I ended up in the hospital with second degree burns on my right arm and legs. This morning my legs reminded me that healing is far from complete. Getting up from any chair reminds me with a twinge of pain that my burns are still there. The other day I was asked again, “Are your legs healed yet?” Sounds familiar.

Rather than gripe and complain while in the middle of the wilderness—which is the most common activity—we should take this time to reflect and ponder how we got this far. The answer is grit, hard work and determination—just kidding—even though some might want to think in this manner. We are here by the sheer grace of God. All along this journey, God has been our steady companion, our guide and our muse.

As this snow flies this winter and the wind chills take away our breath, we remind ourselves that Spring is but a few days away (OK a few months). We look forward to a time when life returns to the barren earth. Likewise our spiritual wilderness will give way to a time of hope and joy—all in God’s time. Like the prophet Isaiah, may our words be filled with hope, not despair. God is here! Always has been and always will be!