Welcome to my blog! Thank you for reading this, my first entry. My purpose in this initial posting is to explain why I have chosen the name "On the Jericho Road" for the blog. There are two reasons, one sentimental and one practical.
First, the sentimental reason: I selected the name as a tribute to my father, the late Champ Ruffin. My father was born in 1921 and died in 1979. In those intervening 58 years he lived a good life. I learned a lot from him in the twenty years that I had him with me and no doubt the things that he taught me will crop up over and over in my reflections. Sometimes I will know that he is the source of what I am saying and I will give him credit; at other times his heart and mind will come out in me as naturally and as unconsciously as some of his facial expressions show up in my visage. One of the things that he and I share is a love for music that is not matched by any discernible musical talent. Although Daddy could not read music he was the song leader in our rural church for many years. He loved to sing. He particularly loved Southern gospel music. One of the songs that he sang all the time as he piddled at home or as he drove or as he worked in his garden was called “On the Jericho Road.” I can still hear him singing “On the Jericho Road, there’s room for just two, no more and no less, just Jesus and you.” So, I have named my blog On the Jericho Road in honor of my father.
Second, the practical reason: I selected the name because it does a good job of summarizing what I hope to address in my postings. The Parable of the Good Samaritan is set on the road to Jericho. In that parable, a man is beaten and left for dead by robbers. A couple of religious leaders see him but pass by on the other side; a Samaritan stops and helps him. The scenario of the parable informs the approach that I hope to take in this blog. As we go along in the life of faith, we witness and participate in all kinds of events that impact the lives of people. In the light of those events we have to make decisions about how we will respond or not respond; we have to decide what we think and then we have to act in accordance with the decisions that we make. Our journey is very much a journey along the Jericho Road; it is a journey during which we must face what it means to be a neighbor and to act like a neighbor. That’s what I want to reflect upon, to write about, and to engage in conversation about in this blog: what do we do about the situations and the people that we encounter along the Jericho Road? Sometimes I’ll write about other things that attract my attention, but in the main, such is the direction that I’ll be taking.
I look forward to having you share in the journey and the conversation with me.