Hello friends . . . grace and peace,
There are two kinds of anticipation in our group of pilgrims. The vast majority of the crew have never been to Jordan, or Israel, or any part of The Holy Land. The words, “Jesus stood in the place where you are standing” have never been said to them. The Palestinian people are strangers they hear about on the news. Israel is a country, not a people group. For this group of pilgrims, the anticipation is about experiencing that which is unfamiliar, unknown, un-understood. It’s not a bad thing. It just . . . is.
There are some in our group who have been there. They’ve seen. They’ve experienced. They’ve heard. For them, there is a longing to go back – to reconnect with the places and people who impacted and touched their lives. They have been changed and they long to be re-changed yet again. They don’t have a “leg up” on the rest of the group. They aren’t “better”. It’s just that their anticipation is not the same kind as the rest of the group.
There is a parallel to each of our personal (and corporate) journeys of faith. For many people, their faith journey begins by seeking something more, something deeper. They look for something that, at the time, they do not yet know, and have not yet experienced. They are reliant on other peoples’ understandings and experiences of faith. They are forced (not in a bad way) to listen to the stories of other people. They have not yet come into their own understandings of faith, nor have their experienced enough to share their own faith stories. This is not a bad thing. It just . . . is.
But there are also those who, after having many experiences in their faith journey, are not satisfied with what they know (or what they think they know). Their experiences are beautiful and have been life-changing. And yet, they know they have not come to a full or perfect understanding of God, or Jesus, or the bible, or church, etc. They have seen things that have caused them to rethink and reinterpret and re-understand. They aren’t “better”. It’s just a different place in their faith journey.
This group of pilgrims leaves 3 weeks from today. We are getting to that stage where we can no longer say, “I’ve got time.” Our realization of that truth is getting palpable . . . and so is our anticipation.
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…” – Psalm 122:6