I’ve actually gone over a couple cliffs in my life, once in scouting and once at a training event for seminarian field education supervisors. I always had a harness, a rope, a helmut, and a safety line. And even with all that, it still felt like a life threatening moment as I would make my first steps into the unknown. I often tell people I don’t like going to places I’ve never been before. I learned that from going over a lot of cliffs. I still don’t.

This week, the whole nation is said to be going over a monetary cliff of sorts, certainly into the unknown. At times this week, I remembered those mountain repelling adventures.

And life is filled with cliffs, times when you head out into the unknown. Leaving home for the first time, making that big purchase, saying “I do” or losing a loved one and having to keep going without them. Those are cliffs. Some we choose and sometime we are pushed. A great verse for times like this is from Genesis 12. God calls Abram to go to a land he did not know. There were no directions or instructions. He was not going alone, and neither do we.

The story of Abram started us out on Sunday with a review of the life of Adoniram Judson through the voice of his dear friend and lifeline in mission support, Luther Rice. After traveling around the world on a missionary journey, someone had to return to America to build support. Rice managed to organize the Baptists into missionary societies that eventually became our denomination, the American Baptist Church, USA. You had to be there. Maybe you were.

“Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations…” – Jesus