Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Walking We Will Go

Ever since I came back from my first Walk to Emmaus back in 2004 I have had the wonderful blessing, as strange as it may seem to some, to carry a cross. It's a wooden cross with a wheel on the end of it. I have carried it around Clinton and Roseboro on many occasions, and other towns on a few occasions. I have also carried with me into many churches that I have preached revival services and such.

Photo shared on Facebook
credited to Karen Owen not
far from Clinton.
Each time I find myself walking with the cross, there seems to be different reasons. Sometimes I feel an urgency to walk with it. Other times I feel a personal need to walk with it, and times when I'm using it for a point during a sermon.

On those occasions when I feel a personal need to walk is when I feel a particular quietness in my spiritual life. Like those times when I don't think I have heard God in a while and desire to hear His spiritual voice or to receive a special message. So in a way, I am using the cross like an antenna, hoping to get a better reception, sort of the way we use to move the rabbit ear antenna around or go outside and rotate the pole antenna until mom would say, "That's good!".                                                                  

I see the cross that I carry as an in-motion visible reminder of the love of Jesus Christ. If they see a cross sticking in the ground beside a church, a person may not give it a second glance or a single thought. But when they see a crazy fella walking beside the streets and through parking lots, I feel confident that they will at least take a second glance, and just perhaps, they will remember the faith they once knew if they have wandered.

In the mind of some it may be crazy to some for someone to carry a cross down the street. To others, it is amazing and inspiring to see it. To myself, it is an inspired ministry. It isn't courage on my part. Before each walk I have to really pray for the Lord to give me the strength because I don't want to do it. It's always a sense of embarrassment that I have to overcome each time.

Some have claimed that I do it for personal attention. It is never about me, but about the power of the Holy Spirit to lead me to carry it.

This past Saturday I carried the cross from Roseboro to Clinton. The purpose of the walk was to raise funds for a mission trip to the Red Bird Mission in Kentucky in September. The goal was to walk from Roseboro UMC to Grace UMC in Clinton, a total of 13.4 miles. I made it all the way to the post office in Clinton, a total of 11 miles. My feet being blistered made the decision for me not to go any further. Still it was a success.

Hwy 24, the route that I took on the Roseboro/Clinton walk was extremely busy. I have no doubt thousands of people traveled past me going West and East. Those who know me, saw Bobby Herring carrying a cross. Those who did not know me saw a man carrying the cross. Over two thousand years ago, thousands of people in a city called Jerusalem saw a man carrying a cross, and the world hasn't been the same since.

If all us who proclaim that we are Christians, disciples of Jesus Christ, carried our crosses as Christ commanded of us, maybe we could continue to turn the world upside down for the glory of the kingdom of God. Of course, the cross you are called to carry isn't a wooden cross with a wheel on the end of it, but still a cross you are to carry.

"If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it."  Mark 8:34-35 (NRSV).

I have attached a link to my sermon from this past Sunday, day after my long walk. First time sharing a recording on the internet. Sometime have to be a first time. Hope you who listens to it will receive a blessing as I received when I preached it.


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