Wayfarer is our journey to find a way to incorporate spiritual practices into our lives in an age of digital distractions.

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Wayfarer access_time 31:40

The Child Within - Episode 73

In this episode of Wayfarer we'll hear a story from Gerard Howell and music from Jane Tatum.

It's week two of Lent. I don’t know about you, but sometimes, this journey uncovers things I’d rather let lie. When we venture out into the wilderness, into these quiet spaces, we encounter old ghosts, wounds that still haven’t healed, guilt over things left undone and shame for our hurtful words.

Sometimes, even Jesus looks strange--muddied with old images of God formed in fear-steeped traditions, covered with vestiges of a great vengeful eye watching intently for any misstep, tainted with the amalgamation of perfectionistic parenting, power-hungry preachers, and embedded moralities that shame any variance.

Sometimes when I try to enter into silence and contemplation, I worry about what I’ll find. Who will I meet? Will it be that vengeful God that still haunts me from long ago? The one that constantly threatened punishment? Will it be the God that demands perfect obedience without question? Will it be the God that is ashamed of me and cannot look upon my sinfulness?

Our anxieties can sometimes make it hard to see what God is really doing. And in the end, it must come down to faith. Who is this God we seek?

As we look, at the story of the woman at the well, we find a God who is not ashamed of our bad reputations or our social status. We find a God who doesn’t demand perfection or look for ways to punish. Rather, we find a generous God who goes way out of the way to meet with someone on the margins. This God opens up the past in a way that is healing and transformative--embracing all of us, and welcoming us into a generous communion.

I hope you see that God that knows you fully and loves you completely, not in spite of your shortcomings, but because you are beloved.

Wayfarer access_time 18:07

A Radical Welcome - Episode - 44

Not too long ago at Central, we had some signs printed that you may have seen. These green, blue, and orange signs have the words “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor” in Spanish, Arabic, and English. This program was started at Immanuel Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, VA in 2015 as a way to fulfill their church motto, “Real people following Jesus’ radical call to love and service.”Lots of folks from Central took these signs and put them up. We’ve got more on the way, so don’t worry if you missed it. Today, we'll listen to a story from the Gabbard's about an encounter they had because of one of these signs they placed in their yard. Our acts of light and kindness won’t always engender positive responses, but sometimes they do. And we can cherish these times and be reminded that no matter what we experience, there are folks who need to see these words of welcome.So, it seems to me that a skillful practice is to try to untangle the outcomes we may get from our acts of kindness, from the acts and from our own identities. We are inspired to share welcome and love with others because of the life and message of Jesus. And Jesus was not always met with glowing responses of gratitude. Like in our scripture passage this week, Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus was full of misunderstandings. The beauty of the call of Jesus is that we are already accepted and welcomed as we are. So no matter responses we get from others, be they positive or negative, we can trust that we are already welcomed into grace. Already welcomed into love. Already welcomed into the life of Christ. We can be grateful and inspired when we see that love reflected in others, and we can find hope and courage to continue when we find resistance. Because the smile of God is on us. God is for us.  Thanks also to Jane Tatum for sharing her music with us.  Write your own beatitude and call it in so we can use it in a future episode. Just leave a message at (859) 813-0150. 

Wayfarer access_time 19:01

Trust Me - Episode 41

This week, we’re thinking about unlearning worry. If you’re like me, that just raised your anxiety a few notches. Now I’m worried about the fact that I worry so much, and I feel a vicious cycle forming. This week we’re looking at the story of Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus in John chapter 3. I feel for Nicodemus. He's obviously not understanding what Jesus is saying. Honestly, I’m scratching my head too. But maybe Jesus’ words are just as much about the effect as the content here. Maybe the confusion they create is, in fact, the point. Maybe Jesus is inviting faith. Maybe Jesus is inviting belief. Maybe Jesus is saying, trust me. And then at the end, He tells us why. “I’m not here to judge and blame and label. I’m here because of love. I’m here to redeem. I’m here to save. And you’re not going to understand this mystery. You’re not going to be able to own this and appropriate it for your own agendas. No, it’s much too slippery for that. This is good news. Really good news. Relax. I’m here. I’ll meet with you in the dead of night. I’ll meet with you in the day. I’ll meet with you if you get it and I’ll meet with you if you’re lost as can be. And you’ll be all of those things."So, today, we’re going to spend some time with this passage of scripture in lectio divina. We’re going to let it work on us, and as we often say in worship at Central, work its way into us.  Thanks also to Jane Tatum for sharing her music with us.

Central Baptist Church