Pilgrimage, September 1017

posted Sep 1, 2017, 10:54 AM by Cameron Hubanks

The Lord is my Shepherd; God leads me beside still waters, even through the darkest valley.
Pilgrimage: To go on a pilgrimage is a tradition in all religions. Human beings have through all times been searching for their origin, closeness to eternity, something that is holy for them. A place where the border between the earthly and the heavenly reality is thinner than any other place, a location that tells about the divine presence in the existence or a place that has a unique meaning in the life of individuals. Thus the goal is the most important on a pilgrimage; the path is only a means for arriving at the place. The Christian Pilgrim tradition has its origin in the early years of the Church. The Christians were keen to be at the places where Jesus had been; like Jerusalem and Bethlehem. This was, however, not the only holy places for the first Christians. The early Church had a lot of martyrs who were regarded as saints. These people had been part of the congregations and among those who celebrated the Liturgy and worshiped God. It was a
clear perception that the martyrs had gone directly to heaven and there they were able to pray in front of God’s throne. Thus it was important for the Christians to come to the tombs of the saints. This gave them proximity to the holy and a better possibility to ask for the intercession of the saints. As time went by, the Church had martyrs and saints at many places and pilgrimages were common in the whole Christian world. People were searching for comfort, healing and forgiveness for their sins. Eventually it was also common that the Church instructed people to go on pilgrimage to do penance for their sins. It was then possible to pay others to do the pilgrimage in their place.

The St.Olav Ways - the pilgrim paths to Trondheim Norway is the name of the old pilgrim trails leading to Nidaros, Trondheim. The historic trails have been used by pilgrims and other travelers since the year 1032. The path winds its way through villages and towns, crossing mountains and rivers and turns along the ancient paths. People on the path are telling stories linked with old houses, churches and places, traditional food and intriguing accommodation. To walk in the footsteps of people who have walked this way in sorrow and joy, hope and despair, throughout hundreds of years will leave lifelong imprints on those who dare to set out on the same route. To arrive at the goal, the mighty Nidaros Cathedral; after having walked for days is an unforgettable experience that the pilgrims will carry with them on the way home and further through the rest of their life.

Recently Amy and I walked 60 miles of this Pilgrims Path. It was an unforgettable experience enriched with deep spiritual lessons that we will carry with us for a lifetime. If I were to have taken a Sabbatical- a time apart that pastors are allowed to take for spiritual renewal- the theme would have been Pilgrimage. Given the journey of life, the harsh difficult times trudging through, obtaining scars that tell the story, to arise out of that and peer from mountain top experiences that give perspective and vantage point to where one has been and where one yet is going. This is all giving God the glory on earth and in heaven, that on the paths we choose to find out where the winds die and where the stories go. All days come from one day that must you must know, you cannot change what’s over, but only where you go. Pilgrim it’s a long way, to find out who you are.” Enya

Pastor Sara