Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Life Is Pilgrimage: Collection of Reflections from Recent Holy Land Excursion

Life is pilgrimage. 
Travel well and never alone.
Venture to spaces where the divine and human collide
in a particular place.
Go with eyes wide open
where stories and parables
share the ground your feet now tread.
Pray en route
and listen to the voices of the other
those more oft passed by.
Ask questions
linger longer.
Expect to encounter the Holy
and to return different than when you first set out.

I wrote this as I sat in the JFK airport waiting to board and head to Tel Aviv. And I can say without hesitation I returned different than when I first set out. I continue to linger in the conversations with all those I engaged, from friends on the bus to children in refugee camps, others on farms suffocated by settlements and leaders of mosques, synagogues, and grassroots justice movements. Questions. So. Many. Questions. They remain abundant, whether in casual conversations or engagement with the Scriptures, even more so in sermon preparation. My eyes have been opened anew through the collision with the divine in the place where the story that has centered my life first took shape. And I am grateful. 

I am also humbled by those who shared they felt as though they took the journey with me through my regular postings to holy sites and other places throughout the region. I have compiled some of those posts here in one place and provided a link to the photo book I developed, something I have loved watching my kids flip through as they have continued this journey with me. 

While I have returned from the Holy Land,  I will keep walking. I pray you will just the same. 

Pilgrim on...

And please do check out the blog series I curated with NEXTChurch that has incredible posts by dear friends with whom I shared the venture of a lifetime: . My post will be shared here and through the NEXTChurch platforms later this month.