The ancient Romans were well known for their system of roadways. Military roads emerged from Rome and led to outward parts of the Roman Empire. The roads were so well designed and constructed that they would sustain commercial, military and other traffic for centuries. According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary, a Roman mile was about 1,680 yards. Jesus said, “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” (Matthew 5:41, NIV) The Greek word translated “mile” is milion and is of Latin origin.
If you traveled along a Roman road during Jesus’ time, you would have encountered a “milestone” for each Roman mile. Milestones, mile markers or “mileposts” would be a point of reference along the journey. They would tell a traveler how much distance they had traveled as well as the remaining mileage to their destination. We use mile markers to navigate our interstate systems today. One of the most familiar uses of “mileposts” (MP’s) is along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. If you travel along the US 158 Bypass, MP’s extend all the way to the edge of Hatteras Island. They are very useful when traveling in Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head. MP’s in the OBX help to locate historical sites, shops, and restaurants.
As Christians, it is important to identify mileposts along the journey with Jesus. They are “spiritual markers” that define a “time of transition, decision, or direction when [we] clearly know that God has guided [us]. Over time, [we] can look back at these spiritual markers and see how God has faithfully directed [our] lives according to his divine purpose . . . when [we] face decisions we can review [our] spiritual markers.” Some of our spiritual markers are our birth, our first Bible, Vacation Bible School, entrance into youth group, when we first trusted Christ, baptism, a mission trip or spiritual retreat, and even when we experienced a hardship. For HRBC, some spiritual markers are the first organizational church meeting, moving to Bon Air Elementary School from the house church, calling pastors and staff, dedication of new buildings as well as mission trips and significant transitions. Both individual Christians and congregations can look to spiritual markers as reminders of God’s divine activity among us. They remind us how God has provided along the way. We know that what God has done before, God will do again!
The quarterly issues of “The Road” will inform and guide through the year and “The Milepost” will do so each week. We hope that you enjoy these new publications as we worship, love, grow and serve in the name of Jesus Christ. As we journey along the road through this Advent season and into 2016, may we go with the full assurance that God is with us! May we travel into the future in sequence with what God has already been doing among us as His people and as a congregation.
Thank you for being part of this great church! Melanie, Isabella and I look forward to our future as we discover God’s will together!
God’s blessings, Pastor Bob