Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Greetings from the south of France.  Nancy and I are part of a group on pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. James de Compestelle in Spain.  Walking the Way of St James was a pilgrimage ranking in popularity with pilgrimages to Rome and Jerusalem during medieval times. 

A bit about the spiritual discipline of pilgrimage… Christians continue to be attracted to pilgrimages such as this one, but why?  One answer is that we are rooted in pilgrimage through our Hebrew heritage.  Ancient Judaism called for pilgrimage.  The destination was, of course, the Temple in Jerusalem.

Psalm 122
I rejoiced with those who said to me,
    “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
Our feet are standing
    in your gates, Jerusalem.

But pilgrimage is different for Christians today, particularly in the Protestant Tradition, because we understand all of life to be a pilgrimage.  Our destination is the New Heaven and New Earth… The New Jerusalem... and union with God through Christ.  This pilgrimage is but a small icon of that.  Additionally, we come to understand as Christians that we do not seek God and his healing touch as much as God comes toward us, seeking us.  We at Holy Trinity should understand this better than most through our ongoing Wednesday night studies on “The Prodigal God.”  But the great blessing I am experiencing is that God is very willing to come walk with me on my Pilgrimage to St. James de Compostelle.

 We have been walking only small parts of Chemino de Sante Jacque de Compostelle, but it has been a pilgrimage in honor of our God and in thanksgiving for the life and witness of the great Apostle St. James.  Le Puy, France, was the beginning point of our pilgrimage.  We are traveling the full length of the Way of St. James from Le Puy but are only able to walk short sections as we go.  I have been walking with a band of fellow pilgrims, but the most powerful times are when I pull ahead or fall behind, and it is just the Lord and I walking the Way. 

 As the pilgrim used to encourage one another, “Onward and upward.”

Father Rob