Preparing for Worship – Timothy Peoples, senior pastor.
I have had some dance parties all by myself lately. It all started one night when my Spotify music channel played Whitney Houston’s “Step by Step.” I have no idea what came over me, but dance moves I have never attempted began to take place, and I just yelled out every word to the song.
Step by step, bit by bit,
Stone by stone, brick by brick (oh, yeah!),
Step by step, day by day, mile by mile
Today, we journey with Jesus to the top of the mountain along with the disciples — the ones who were told the secrets to the kingdom but just didn’t get it. While the text says Jesus takes three disciples on the mountain, I like to imagine Jesus opened the invitation to all 12. A couple of them had doubt, became a little suspicious and decided not to go. Others went a bit of the way until their sandals broke and they couldn’t continue the long rocky journey. Then a couple made it halfway but became parched and hungry. By the time they got to the top, Peter, James and John looked behind them and noticed it was just the three of them on the mountain with Jesus.
Fascinatingly, it seems by the time we walk back down, we have entered the season of Lent, taking time to remember that we are frail humans in relationship with God — a God who freely gives grace upon grace. I get it — culture and society can creep into our ways and our thoughts and cause us to slip. Our human flesh takes over, and our vision becomes blurry. So I must remind you that living the Christian life means living a life that says, “it’s okay to take it step by step, bit by bit, and day by day.”
I hope you’ve had days filled with dancing like this. But more than that, I hope the song lyrics resonate with you. We’re all on a journey, taking it step by step, sometimes feeling lost amid dangers, burdens and troubles. But always understanding it takes one step at a time.
As our congregation moves more into our identity, as we make changes together or even adhere to our traditions, let us realize that we are moving step by step and bit by bit. Listening to where God is calling us to move and how God is calling us to act. And that, my friends, takes time together.
No longer do I want to do dance parties alone. Here is the invitation: let us dance together, dancing into the future of our church and the future that God has for each of us.