17a. Appendix 4 Party Three

“For our newcomers: while Tony & I are on the road, please enjoy his book, ‘Leaving the Trail’ as a weekly series in condensed form. Be sure to go back to the beginning to understand the story! If you can’t stand the suspense, simply order a copy from Amazon or write toinfo@martonpublishing.com.”

Appendix 4

Party Three

Main Events of Part Three:

  1. 1. Conflict between Fisher and Rendezvous
  2. 2. Fisher and Sandy leave the trail, discover village

Scripture References:

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. ?19? “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Matthew 16: 18 – 19

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a certain man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” ?10? And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Acts 16: 9 – 10

Think about this:

Conflict develops in this section between Fisher, who is convinced of his call to leave the trail and seek out those who are lost, and Friend, who is equally convinced that Rendezvous (The Church) must under no circumstance be led away from the trail. By now, every pilgrim knows that he leaves the trail at his peril. Even Friend could attest to that truth, having lost, strayed or been frightened away on more than one occasion, each time suffering as a result.

Does this concept make sense to you? In other words, what “path” has been laid before you, and how might you step away from that path? What has God called His people to do? How important is it that the Church be a guiding light to every traveler? Have there been times in history when the Church has failed in this task?

Fisher and Sandy remain convinced of God’s call for them, and set out alone to find Lisa’s people who live in the wilderness away from the trail. Friend and the Rendezvous team pray for their safety and struggle with the decision to remain behind. Ralph especially believes that they should be more aggressive in seeking the lost. Do you see parallels in this chapter within the church today? Are there elements within your church who hold a “fortress mentality”, which says that God’s people must remain inside, away from the world? What about those who would say that the only legitimate church is the “reaching out” church, constantly looking beyond itself to people and places where the Gospel is not known?

Eventually, we meet Lisa’s aunt, uncle, grandparents and others who, as Fisher and Sandy suspected, have made their home in the wilderness. Memories of the trail are so far removed that they even deny its existence. Instead, they have fallen victim to a power more sinister than they could ever have imagined, the tragic consequences of which will become clear in the next chapter.

Try to imagine life in the Garden of Eden, when God would come in the “cool of the day” to walk with His creation (Genesis 3:8), and contrast that to the days of Enosh, when Adam’s grandchildren began to “call out to God” (Genesis 4:26). In the generations since, people have slipped farther and father away from that familiarity with the Creator, so that there now exist whole nations who can no longer recall those past days. Like Uncle Ken, Aunt Dorothy, Grandmother and Grandfather, they live their lives in quiet desperation, searching for truth in a darkened world. What responsibility does the church today have for those nations? How can you play a part?

Comments are closed.