One of the lessons that I've learned on pilgrimage is the art of dealing with what is right before me on the pilgrim's path. Sounds simple, huh? There are times in life that we some times create crisis when a crisis is not, well, needed. Likewise, while there are crisis that we meet along life's pilgrim's path, there are times we'd rather avoid the mess before us. On life's piglrims' path, maybe what we need to do is, first avoid starting crises when no crises is needed, and second, not to avoid the crisis we meet me along life's path.
Here is where pilgrimage teaches us how to navigate life's path!
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
On the second Sunday after Pentecost, the Gospel reading in the lectionary was Matthew 6:24-34. What stood out in the reading were these words, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you--you of little faith?
Yes. Yes we are.
"So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today."
On pilgrimage, what I learned and re-learned, yet had to learn again is that what I needed in life on the pilgrim's way is always on the way of coming to me. I tend to worry about tomorrow and fail to remember and realize that God's grace is an "always given" in our pilgrimage.
Bordering on "Don't worry, be happy" of Bobby McFearrin fame, the lesson of life is learning to walk in the way of God.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
A quick note here (as I run off and do too many things on this Sabbath day): today is celebrated as Trinity Sunday in the Western Church: O Happy Day! It is a day in which we remember, celebrate, and are reminded that we worship a Triune God, One in three Persons, Blessed Trinity...as the hymn goes.
I am fixated on the above icon and what it means for pilgrimage. The three figures--undoubtedly Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--are gathered around the elements for the sacrament of Eucharist. This Eucharist is food for the journey, which continually nurtures us, no matter what. For us on pilgrimage, or aware that we are on a pilgrimage in our daily life, this day is a reminder that we worship a community who follows, walks with us, leads us, and sets before us the pathway, and is the pathway, that we trod upon.
Happy Day of Trinity Wonders!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
I am writing this on Pentecost: to my kith and kin who are following this blog, the Western Church celebrates this day as our Pentecost, while my Eastern Church kith and kin celebrates Pentecost in a few more weeks.
On this day, we read from Acts 2, remember the wind, the fire, the gathering of people, groups speaking in different or foreign tongues that were not taught to them but descended upon them as a gift of the Holy Spirit, who is truly God not only "with us" but "among us" and "in us." On this day we celebrate the birth of the Church in its more-or-less current form.
But the Church is, has been, and will ever be, where "two or three are gathered in my name, and I will be there": the Church is when we meet one another on the pilgrim-way of life. While I understand the importance of sacred places and the architecture of the faith, on this day I am brought back to this point: we celebrate this day that God breathes, lives, works, worships, prays, and serves others in, through, by, and some times, despite, of us.
What was publicly and personally celebrated over 2000 years ago continues to live on this very day wherever we may be along the pilgrim-way of life.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
On salon.com, there was a good review of Tony Horwitz's new book, A Voyage Long and Strange, covering not only the Pilgrims who made their way to the shores of what we call America in 1627, but other people from other lands who preceded the group of faithful Protestants who left England for the Netherlands to the shores of what was then considered the "New World." Horwitz chronicles the presence of Spaniards, French, and Icelandic explorers who came to the land because of its timber, its animal pelts, its fish, and for other reasons: religious freedom among many of them.
Horwitz looked at the near failure of the English separatists upon a boat we fondly call "The Mayflower." He talks about Amerigo Vespucci's mythic explanation of huge women that people would find in the new world. It was a land of incredible hope, opportunity, fear, native people who were not of European origin, and hopeful wealth.
It has been said that pilgrimage is over people in Europe. In the new world, pilgrimage was over land. Enjoy this book that tells our nation's story.
Click here for more.
Pilgrim peace, Brett
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Having preached on the theme of Ascension Sunday at Southminster Presbyterian Church, Beaverton, Oregon this past Sunday, it is hard for me to fathom that the trail continues onward toward Pentecost!?
What is impressive to me is how the holy/Holy Days truly become "markers" or "milestones" or points of reference, like we use for travel on the road. When visiting my home town of Portland, OR, I know where I am because of the significant monuments or known sites and sounds that steer me to where I want to go. I get totally lost when the monuments and markers of the known sites and streets move.
Having passed Ascension Sunday, I pick up my stuff, put it back in life's back-pack, and move on ahead to the next stopping point in the Christian life-long pilgrimage: Pentecost!
Peace of the Pilgrim God,