One of my favorite things to do is to go for walk down by the river, under the bridge, here in Llano. I love hearing the water wash over the dam, the cars and trucks driving overhead; I love looking at the granite and the different striations and patterns that came from millions of years of lava, pressed together and then uplifted.
I love taking my kids down there. Most of the time, we don't really want them to get in the water, but they're kids, so if there's water, they're gonna get wet. I like to take the dogs down there, and to just sit by the water and think about how much I am loved by God, and that I am called to follow him wherever he goes to "Feed his sheep."
It's true: we live in a beautiful town. Llano is most definitely a gem hidden away in the middle of the Texas Hill Country. I know most of you have heard the story about us coming here, but I cannot tell you the number of times I have driven through Llano on my way to Austin and though, "I'd love to live here some day."
Well, here we are!
I don't know if you can feel it, but there is a feeling of resurrection about this place. There is a feeling of a hustle and bustle that wasn't found earlier last year due to the virus that shall not be named in this blog. I don't know if it was the full house on Easter Sunday, or if there's just a business because of spring, but I truly feel like we are working toward something special.
I can't imagine what the time after the resurrection was like for the disciples. They had seen EVERYTHING. They saw Jesus beaten, killed, and buried, and now they were having conversations with him. They were having experience after experience. Everything had changed, and so there had to be an excitement that they hadn't felt before, at least not since Jesus called them to follow him the first time.
But Jesus only had 40 days left with his disciples before his ascension. Only 40 days left to get the last of his instructions to them and to prepare them for what was to come next.
But there is this one moment when it seems like Jesus slows down; when he stops to have breakfast with his disciples and he has a conversation with Peter.
This is the moment when Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him. (John 21: 15-19) And his response, becoming more frustrated every time was, Yes Lord, you know I love you. And Jesus responds, "Feed My Sheep/Lambs."
But then, the last words we read of Jesus speaking to Peter are, "Follow Me." The same words he spoke to Peter at the beginning.
Jesus gives Peter an opportunity to be forgiven for denying him three times by asking him three separate times if he loves him. You see, Jesus takes a moment to make sure that Peter, who would be instrumental in the spreading of the Gospel, remembered his calling to follow him; even though there was so much to do in such a little time.
I hope you will remember that Jesus calls to you and says, "Follow Me." That his desire is for you to become his disciple so that you might make other disciples.
As we begin to return to normal, I hope you take moments to not forget sitting by the river. I hope you take moments to enjoy life. I hope you take moments to remember how Good life is with Jesus at the center.
Growing up in the United Methodist Church, I have always had a passion for ministry. Now, I have been called to serve the people of Llano at an awesome place called Lutie Watkins Memorial!