Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to walk with Jesus? Can you imagine Jesus traversing hot, dusty roads or entering the wilderness or passing alongside the Sea of Galilee? While most of his ministry occurred in Nazareth and Galilee, Jesus frequently traveled by foot to Jerusalem to go to the feasts or holy days and to the temple. Of course, there is no way to know for sure, but some have speculated, based on Scripture alone, Jesus may have walked as many as 3000 miles during his 3-year ministry.
For Jesus and for us, walking can be a holy activity, and this just so happens to be the topic of a book I came across a few years ago entitled Christ Walk: A 40-Day Spiritual Fitness Program. Written by Anna Fitch Courie, and designed to be completed over the course of 40 days, it is an excellent devotional resource for Lent—a resource FPC will use this Lent in a variety of ways.
First, from Ash Wednesday, February 22nd through Easter Sunday, April 9th, as a church we will be challenged to walk the distance Jesus might have covered over the course of his 3-year ministry. Yes, 3000 miles! (I know it’s a lot, but keep in mind, we will do it together.) Walking is a holy activity that most anyone can do at some fitness level and its benefits are numerous. However, even if you are unable to walk as an exercise, or if you choose another exercise option, you can still get in on the fun because there are lots of ways to accumulate “miles.” The idea is to be active and keep track of your progress so you can add your “miles” to each week’s tally.
Here are the basics:
- A mile covered by walking, running, biking, hiking, etc., equals 1 mile.
- 15 minutes of other exercises like weight training, stretching, dancing, gardening, etc., equals 1 mile.
- For children, 15 minutes of active play equals 1 mile.
- Additionally, 15 minutes of prayer and meditation counts as 1 mile.
- To help us keep count of the “ground we cover,” a basket, pencils, and small strips of paper will be available in the narthex and on the table in the back hallway each Sunday. Simply jot down your “mileage” for the week on a piece of paper and toss it into the basket. You don’t have to write your name or even how you arrived at the number. (A running tally will be kept in the church office.)
Another way to participate in our Lenten program is to join me for a 6-week study of the book beginning Sunday, February 19th at 5:30 p.m. on Zoom. I believe you will find the book inspirational and thought-provoking. (Of course, you may wish to study the book on your own, and that is fine, too.)
You may purchase Christ Walk: A 40-Day Spiritual Fitness Program through Amazon or another book retailer. Alternatively, Heather Hill will place a book order February 6, 2023. Please let her know if you want her to order the book for you. Currently, copies of the book are $24.95. (Kindle versions are $13.49.)
Christ Walk is about taking care of ourselves—body and soul. There is a “God-spark” in each of us and our bodies are the temple that God gives us to explore our gifts and talents. I hope you will prayerfully consider joining this journey — in whatever way works best for you. Come, let us follow in the footsteps of Jesus – together!
Dr. Glenda Hollingshead
Portions adapted from a newsletter sample provided in Christ Walk.