Monday, February 27, 2012

pilgrimage

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Weeping,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
(Psalm 84:5-7)

This Lenten journey is very much a pilgrimage.  It is the time where we, like Jesus, set our face to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51 ESV).  It is a journey to the cross; a journey that passes through the Valley of Weeping, but ultimately ends up at a place of springs—of new life, of resurrection.  So what does it look like to set my heart on this pilgrimage?  Does it mean to follow wherever the hard and lonely path may lead, trusting that Jesus knows the way to life?  Does it mean to embrace, rather than avoid or deny, the struggle and pain and brokenness of the season—and my own heart—knowing that this is the soil in which new life is born?  Does it mean simply putting one foot in front of the other as we willingly follow our Savior into a scary and vulnerable land—the land of denying ourselves, taking up our cross, and following him?  Does it mean being stripped down to the core of who we really are, and who He really is, in order that we may really become all that He desires us to be?  Does it mean a putting off of all that is false within us, in order to put on all that is genuinely true?  Does it mean the putting to death of the false self, that we may live and be the true self we were intended/created/dreamt to be?  If that is indeed what it means, then by all means, O Lord, set my heart of pilgrimage—as you set your face to go to Jerusalem—that I may really know, and really love, you and you alone.

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