There is a time for stillness, for waiting for Christ as he makes his dancing way toward us. And there is a time to be in motion, to set out on a path, knowing that although God is everywhere, and always with us, we sometimes need a journey in order to meet God—and ourselves—anew.
—Jan Richardson, from Palm Sunday: Blessing of Palms
The Painted Prayerbook, April 2017
Travelling to the land where the Holy One walked, to be a pilgrim during the season of Lent has been a most humbling experience. Every year all Christians become pilgrims in Lent as we walk with Jesus to Jerusalem and through the events of Holy Week.
This gift of the past two weeks, experiencing the landscape of modern Jerusalem, Israel proper and the Occupied Territories has been a journey of meeting God and catching glimpses of Jesus in surprizing ways. Jesus and his first followers are much more human to me from this new vantage point. Seeing them from this modern place, looking back 2000 years, they are real people with real histories living in a complex time of political turmoil.
The Gospel stories of Jesus are now grounded for me in a geography that is sometimes countryside or lakeside, ancient village or city. They are also more clearly grounded in a historic context of Roman occupied Palestine.
I look forward to sharing my journey with you in our time together in the coming months.
Our pilgrim group was made up of many members of an Episcopal congregation from Cashiers, North Carolina who were there with their priest Rev. Rob Wood who faithfully did a photo blog of our time together. Please look at it to get a sense of our journey: https://goodshepherdcashiers.wordpress.com/blog/
This Sunday is Palm/Passion Sunday where we will listen to the story and walk through Holy Week together. I will share some of the pictures of Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives, but we will let the Gospel of Mark tell the tale.