Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Profound Absence of Walking on Pilgrimage

In this season of Eastertide, I am surprised at the sense of coming to an end of a journey within the Church. During Holy Week (Eastern and Western Churches), we are surrounded by many images and stories of people on pilgrimage, from the peace and justice pilgrimages in Raleigh, to the Via Dolorosa pilgrimages in Jerusalem.

Everyone is on their feet, in their wheel chair, and moving forward.

But now in the season of Eastertide, nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero momentum. Inertia.

I know that I tried to teach my Duke students about the seasons of the Church year, and the sense of movement within each Season. But this is hard to translate to the Church itself.

Time to get moving.

Buen Camino!

Peace, Brett

Friday, April 24, 2009

Two Disciples Were on a Pilgrimage from Jerusalem, When...

Fill in the blank.

I've decided to take a step back from this week's lectionary reading and focus on the disciples going to Emmaus.

After all, they are the New Testament progenitors of pilgrimage. If there was a card or icon with their effigy I would buy it and keep it close by as a reminder: we are on a pilgrimage!

The journey is the thing in this week's reading from Luke 24. The journey.

Jesus is showing us his hands, his feet, his side, marred and bloodied by our nails as he hung on the tree of his own creation.

Jesus shows us that on life's pilgrimage we cannot go around our destiny, but must go through what is in front of us.

Reminds me of the Quaker saying: That which is in the way is the way.

Following Jesus today...and every day.

Buen camino!



Thursday, April 23, 2009

What Jesus and George Washington Have in Common

Last night I was showing the slides via lap top of my latest foray into the Holy Land. This was a "first" for me. Except for the audio and computer glitch right in the middle of the show (AAUUGGHH!) it went pretty well.

What was funny to me was telling people about where Jesus MIGHT have been, or walked, or slept. As anyone who has been to the Holy Land, there are all the places where Jesus might have walked (e.g., the Via Dolorosa or was it from the south near Caiaphas palace?), ate the last supper (which upper room?), and probably slept.

And after watching the slides, I am ready to go back to the land of my forbears.

Buen Camino!



Sunday, April 19, 2009

Eastertide's Pilgrimage

Today we sang "At the font we start our Easter journey," hymn #2115 in SING THE FAITH. I love the last line in the hymn about "Easter work has just begun."

The Easter pilgrimage has just begun.

50 days, and we're only 7, now 8 days into the journey.


Buen camino!



Friday, April 17, 2009

The Pilgrimage Continues: Eastertide's 50 Days

I am struck by how much I now embrace the sense of pilgrimage during Lent. Having arrived at Easter's doorstep on a fantastic morning (6:30 A.M.! in Henderson, NC), celebrating Eucharist in the midst of the Church's Columbarium, and singing with great heart and soul, "Jesus Christ is risen today! Alleluia!" I felt like I did a week after I first wedded: now what!?

So this is Eastertide: a season. This is more than a day. This is 50 days to Pentecost, our next stop on our Church's pilgrimage.

The question I've asked my congregation: what are the marks of faith that shape and mold us? What are the truths that we embody and carry with us in our journey of faith? Let's reflect upon these things on our pilgrimage to Pentecost!

Buen camino!



Monday, April 13, 2009

To be a pilgrim in Jerusalem

While I was hoping to be on a plane soon to join the throng of Eastern Orthodox Christians in Jerusalem for the coming Holy Week, I am amazed at the photos I am seeing on various websites. Our Easter Monday (Western Church) is followed soon by our brothers and sisters in the Eastern Church.

Buen Camino, Peregrinos!

Peace, Brett

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Our Easter, Our Palm Sunday

A convergence of sorts happened today: It was the Western Church's Easter celebration, and it was the Eastern Church's Palm Sunday celebration.

It was like the convergence of our Maundy Thursday (Western Church) and Passover on Thursday.

I am amazed and try to take in all the creative spiritual and religious tension of these days.

Nevertheless, it is the same Pilgrim God who leads us forward, onward, toward the coming reign of Godly love.

Buen camino!



Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Eve of Easter

It is Holy Saturday evening.

I am aware of so many different images of pilgrimage in the last few days, from labyrinths to a pilgrimage for justice and peace in the Raleigh-Durham, NC area on Good Friday. There are images of Jesus being crucified in a pilgrimage in Germany, and the holy procession in the old city of Jerusalem.

I reflected upon the power of the cross all day, now and then finding myself humming "Jesus Christ is risen today." I am caught between Good Friday and Easter.

Buen camino!

Peace, Brett

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Pilgrimage to Franklin St. and Celebration of Tar Heel Champs

Strange but true: I made a pilgrimage to Franklin St. and S. Columbia Sts. in Chapel Hill, NC when the men's basketball team won the NCAA championship.

Why is it a pilgrimage? I went to a "holy site," on foot, and met the throng of well-wishers that night. Like my time in every religious holy site around the world, the sense of purposefulness, hopefulness, celebration, a moment that is serendipitous and ethereal, fleeting at best, was the experience of this night. Like reaching Santiago, sitting with the masses in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traipsing around the adobe structure at Chimayo, this was a holy night.

O.K.: it was a celebratory night.

But was it a pilgrimage of nationalistic fervor?

Buen camino!

Peace, Brett

Monday, April 6, 2009

Jesus Trail Update

Last year, a group of School of the Pilgrim pilgrims met with David Landis and his girlfriend who were on the "road", on pilgrimage, talking about the 65 km Jesus Trail. It is a trail that is found by using something akin to a GPS system currently, without any marked trail, places to stay per se, ala Santiago de Compostela.

Nonetheless, Matt Norvell sent me a snippet from Haaretz about the trail's completion by the time the Pope arrives in the coming weeks.

Click here for more.

Buen Camino!