Friday, March 20, 2009

Why is this named The Pilgrimage Blog??

Well, in Mosaic law (exodus 23:17) God commanded the Israelites (just the men...maybe so the women would have some peace) to journey to the sacred spot where the arc of the covenant was located. I guess according to Indiana Jones they would all be visiting a warehouse somewhere in the States at the next feast. In King David's time this pilgramage was to Jerusalem. The location of the arc was known between 1220 BC (when Moses received the stone tablets) to 586 BC (where it was lost no one is quite sure how or why--possibly the Babylonian raid of the Temple). But during this period in time, the Israelites journeyed to Jerusalem during these 3 feasts. During this time they would sing the songs of ascent (Psalm 120 to 134) on the journey (or pilgrimage). Beth Moore has a bible study on this topic.

As Christians we are not required to pilgram to the ark (if it was found) but we are on a special pilgram to the New Jerusalem (heaven...). This is my pilgrimage to be closer to Christs example so that when Heaven comes I will get the most crowns and live in the biggest mansion and get to eat with Christ everyday... Sounds so silly. I have no idea what I would want for a lifetime spent trying follow God. I think I would be estatic just to dwell in His presence. Maybe it would be great to have energy and be healthy but I doubt I will even notice with the King of Kings in the house.

There is a completely different reason that I am calling this a pilgrimage. When I was in High School (Notre Dame College School was my alma mater), every year we would walk a pilgrimage for Jesus and aid of the developing world. It was for me a deeply spiritual time. I was very confused about what I believed (yep it took me until I was 37 before I let God into my life), but during that 20 km I felt something (not talking about the blisters). It always seemed to be the same, I had friends but I would get seperated from them and spend much of the time walking with my own thoughts, pretty uncomfortable for a teenage girl. I remember trying to walk with someone I knew slightly in order not to be alone with my thoughts. Anyway that pilgrimage started me seeking peace. I looked for years before I came upon it. The peace that passes all understanding. Jesus.

There are times that that immense peace is mine, but it seems to fade with time and the wash of the world. How do you hold onto the peace? I think if you hold too tightly to the peace, then it has lost it's significance. If we seek the fruits of the spirit but not Jesus then we will be able to do fruit...not even a shriveled up crab-apple.

John 15:5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
So this pilgrimage is as much about where I come from as where I am going. And on the Journey holding fast to the Prince of Peace.