Back in the time of Jesus, there was a little phrase that people used. Whenever a rabbi was attracting followers, they would say to potential followers, “are you willing to walk in my dust?” For us, it seems like a strange invitation! However, in Jesus‘s day, it reflected the dusty path that they walked on and the invitation to stay close to a potential teacher and instructor.
To walk in the dust of a rabbi meant that you were close enough to hear them, close enough to follow them, and close enough to follow their example. The process of following in such a way, also reminded the follower that the journey was more often than not dusty.
As we approach this Easter season, our theme at St Michael’s is Dust and Glory. In following the rabbi, Jesus, we experience a dusty journey. We are often aware of our own shortcomings and the fragility of life. Discipleship is a dusty business. But the journey does lead somewhere. The dusty journey of Jesus‘s ministry led to the cross, where he carried all the wrongdoings of the world on his shoulders.
The dusty and rough cross was, three days later, replaced by the glory of His resurrection.
Jesus is still the rabbi to follow. But he is the friend who experienced the dust of life for himself, and replaced it with the hope of glory. Where life might feel dusty for us at the moment, know that Jesus can lead us through the dust to a place of glory.
Dust and glory are often close together, one follows the other and can be as little as three days apart.
May you walk in the dust of Jesus and know him leading you to glory.