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The Rev. Dr. William H. Willimon The Rev. Dr. William H. Willimon

The Rev. Dr. William H. Willimon is Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry at The Divinity School, Duke University. He is recently retired after serving eight years as Bishop of the North Alabama Conference of The United Methodist Church.

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Bishop Will Willimon: El Viaje

January 25, 2010

We now have dozens of churches who are engaging in some groundbreaking ministry with Spanish speaking persons in North Alabama. After school programs, English as a Second Language instruction, Sunday School, Sunday worship, not to mention the ten or so new congregations that we are forming. Recently I preached at Iglesia de la Communidad in Huntsville, one of thriving Spanish speaking congregations that is celebrated its first anniversary. This was my first attempt to preach in Spanish!

El Viaje

Obispo Will Willimon
Iglesia de la Comunidad

Es un gran placer para mí estar aquí con ustedes en este día de fiesta. Yo vine desde Birmingham hoy para reunirme con ustedes, y se que hay unos de ustedes que han venido de lugares mucho mas lejos. Han hecho un viaje largo para estar aquí.

Se darán cuenta que en todo el Evangelio Jesús se muestra como en un viaje. Jesús siempre está en movimiento, moviéndose rápido desde Galilea, a través de Judea, todo el camino hacia la cruz en Jerusalén. Y cuándo Jesús invita un grupo de hombres a ser sus discípulos, él los invita a unirlo en un viaje. "Síganme," les dice. Y lo siguen. Siguen a Jesús en el viaje.

A ser un cristiano, un seguidor de Jesús, es estar en un viaje. Cada uno de nosotros aquí hoy estamos en un viaje con Jesús. Estamos aquí porque Jesús nos invitó a caminar con él. Y como con cualquier viaje, no siempre sabemos la destinación final. No sabemos lo que Dios quiere que hagamos o donde es que Dios quiere que nos vayamos. Por lo tanto, debemos viajar con la fe que, aunque no sepamos el fin de nuestro viaje, caminemos en la dirección derecha porque caminamos con Dios.

Con cualquier viaje, hay tiempos buenos y malos. A veces el camino es difícil. Y eso nos pasa en nuestro viaje con Jesús. Jesús no nos promete que la caminata será fácil, él sólo nos promete que él caminará con nosotros, en particular cuando es difícil.

Una de las mejor maneras para hacer amigos es viajar con ellos. Es verdad con nuestro viaje con Jesús. Cuando él nos dice, como les dijo a sus primeros discípulos, "Síganme", no sabemos mucho acerca de él. Por lo tanto, tenemos que aprender quien es por caminar con él. Yo no los conocería y ustedes no me conocerían si nosotros no andábamos de esta manera con Jesús. En la iglesia (piensen en la iglesia como nuestro viaje con Jesús) tenemos la oportunidad de conseguir amigos nuevos porque estamos viajando con Jesús.

¿Verdad que es interesante que Jesús no dijo, "hablen de mí?" Sino, dijo, "Caminen con mí." No dijo, "piensen en mí," pero dijo "síganme."

Dios le bendiga en su caminata con Jesús. Espero que su iglesia y su pastor le de lo que necesita para que camine fielmente con Jesús.

Oremos:
Señor, te doy gracias por cada uno de estos estimados discípulos quien tú has invitado a caminar con ti. Refuerza cada uno de ellos en su viaje. Dalos lo que ellos necesitan para caminar con ti cada día de sus vidas para que caminen con ti por toda eternidad. Amen.

-----

It is a great joy for me to be with you on this day of Fiesta. I have driven up from Birmingham to be with you but many of you have come even farther than that to be here. You have made a long journey to be here. I thank God that your journey has led you to the United Methodist Church.

You will notice that in all the gospels Jesus is depicted as being on a journey. Jesus began his life, as a baby, as a refugee, a stranger with his family in Egypt. And when he grew up, Jesus is always on the move, moving quickly from Galilee, through Judea, all the way to his cross in Jerusalem. And when Jesus invites a group of people to be his disciples, he invites them to join him on a journey. "Follow me!" he says to them. And they do. They follow Jesus on a journey.

To be a Christian, a follower of Jesus, is to be on a journey. Each one of us is here this afternoon on a Journey with Jesus. We are all here because Jesus invited us to walk with him. And on any journey, you don't always know the final destination. We do not know what God wants us to do, where God wants us to go next. Therefore we must travel in faith that, though we don't know the end of the journey, we are walking in the right direction because we are walking with God.

In any journey, there are good times and bad. Sometimes there is rough going. And that's true of our Journey with Jesus. Jesus doesn't promise us that the walk will be easy, he just promises us that he will walk with us, particularly when the walk is difficult.

You all know that one of the best ways to make new friends is to go on a trip with them, to journey with them. And that's true of our Journey with Jesus. When he says to us, as he said to his first disciples, "Follow me!" we do not know much about Jesus. We must therefore learn who he is by walking with him. And I wouldn't know you and you wouldn't know me if we were not walking this way with Jesus. In the church (think of the church as our Journey with Jesus) we get to meet new friends because we are journeying with Jesus.

Isn't it interesting that Jesus did not say, "talk about me," he said, "walk with me." He didn't say "think about me" he said "follow me"?

God bless you in your walk with Jesus. I hope your church and your pastor give you what you need to faithfully walk with Jesus. Let me pray for you:

Lord, I thank you for these dear disciples whom you have invited to walk with you. Strengthen each one of them in their journey. Give them what they need to walk with you every day of their lives so that they may walk with you in eternity. Amen.

William H. Willimon

[Taken with permission from "A Message from Bishop Will Willimon," Jan. 25, 2010, from the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church]

 


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