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There’s something in a man when he receives God’s call that compels him to go, he possesses the spirit of pilgrimage. Its when the pursuit of God compells him to embrace destiny. Like the great patriarch Abraham who left man and country to find a city where God dwelt so too pilgrims today seek to find God and meaning to life by simply letting go of things they control and embracing a future that holds no promises, except God!.
Pilgrimage was at the heart of God’s people from the days of the Israelites where they set out from the bondage of Egypt to find the promised land, to the days of the apostles where they followed the Lord’s command of going into the world and preaching the gospel.
Pilgrimage always makes a man bigger than what he is and draws him into the fulness of his eternal purpose both in this world and the next.
Ray simpson in his book “A pilgrims way” describes the two types ofpilgrimage One where pilgrimage was seen either as a journey into theunknown such as the Celtic missionaries who travelled Europe andtansformed it and later those who simple went on a one day pilgrimageto visit a holy site such as Jerusalem or Rome.
He goes on to say,”Celtic Christians added a third dimension to pilgrimage, sometimes itwas about meeting God in a untrodden palce in the elements or on theedge”. I like that, “on the edge.” the edge of newness, the edge of adventure and an encounter with God, destiny too.
Every man needs an encounter with the divine. Without such an event he is powerless to pursue what alone can be his. Without the adventure of pilgrimage man cannot know God let alone know who he himself is.
Pilgrimage, is good for thesoul. It causes us to be dependant on others and see a world where wecan enjoy the hospitality and goodness of others. It teaches ushumility and service in the process also and we become better people because of it.
Pilgrimagehelps is to discover the vulnerability of others, theircustoms and strengths. It places us outside the boundaries of thefamiliar where we are in control. Pilgrimage makes usdependant on God. It helpsus see the bigger world as he sees it. Many a man has returned from atrip overseas only to return to pursue a higher purpose, one he wouldnot have discovered had he not embarked on pilgrimage.
Pilgrimage helps is to discover the vulnerability of others, theircustoms and strengths too.
Inmy missionary trips to America I had the wonderful opportunity to staywith folks who displayed kindness and Christian hospitality towards me.Their world enlarged me and their kindness as well as customs foreverinfluenced my life from that time forward. Something I would never beable to run from!
Pilgrimage,is God’s way of growth, growth for his church and growth for a man. Itwas in myventure to preach the gospel that I was introduced to a deeper truthfrom God’s word, one I had not had revelation of back home. Thesalvation as the apostles gave it and truth that God was One and not atrinity.
The revelation changed my life, truth normally does! Pilgrimage, is God’sway upward, “They go from strength to strength” (v7)
I went to America topreach the gospel only to find that when I get there Amercia preached to me.