A devotional journey to the meaning & symbolism of Voyage Church
I don’t know if you have watched or read The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. But in the story, one random day a wizard named Gandalf shows up at the home of a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins and invites him to go on an ADVENTURE, he introduces Bilbo to a new community-a bunch of dwarves and Bilbo at first, refuses to partake in this adventure. But something deep down keeps calling out to Bilbo to trust Gandalf and go. But he asks this one pivotal question,
Bilbo: Can you promise that I’ll come back??
Gandalf: No, and if you do, you will not be the same.
That moment, Bilbo’s life changed forever. Regardless of whatever happened next, Bilbo’s life came down to one decision-would he stay in his hobbit hole and miss out on an adventure of a lifetime? Or would he risk his life to go help some crazy dwarves and their mysterious wizard friend? Bilbo goes and the rest is Middle-Earth history.
As Christians, we believe that everyone of us have a Bilbo-like decision for each of us to make. Not an invitation from a wizard, but an invitation from an all-loving God to surrender our future to himself and follow Him. We see this unfold in the narrative of scriptures, in Matthew 4:18-20 the Scripture tells us of Jesus’ first interaction with Peter:
18 As he was walking along the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter), and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 19 “Follow me,” he told them, “and I will make you fish for[a] people.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
Did you see that? In Gandalf fashion, Jesus calls Peter to join him on a life-changing adventure. This is the epicenter of Christianity, that in God’s love he sent Jesus to redeem us to himself not just so that we would believe in Him, but that we would follow him, this act of following the call is an act of surrender-of your will, your desires and your lifestyle itself so that you may further glorify God. At Voyage Church, our core motto is Drawn by His grace, meaning that for some reason, with no merit of our own, God called us to himself and invited us just like he did Peter on an epic world-changing adventure.
Romans 8:29-30, describe the call of God in this way:
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
What we discover is God is the author of this journey, you did not come up with a belief about Jesus-Jesus himself has revealed his love to you, he is crafting this journey of life with multiple opportunities for you and I to hear and believe in His love and plan of redemption for you. And for those like Bilbo in fiction, or those like Peter in history-those who decide to heed the call of God are invited to partake not just in a lifestyle of faith, but rather an adventure of faith.
Pastor at Voyage Church