Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pilgrimage - In Christ's Hands I go

Today I leave for the Holy Land. I go with 30 other pilgrims mostly all from my church. The lead pastor of our church Ralph Rowley and I are hosting this trip led by Educational Opportunities and I am packed and I am ready.

There is such anxiety with packing because you begin to worry that you are leaving something behind.... I am leaving behind my very best friend, my soul mate - my husband and my two girls-- (the longest [10 days] that I have been away from them). But I know- in a very deep and a very real way that they are going with me. Yes- I know that is very hallmark and something everyone says- but I actually can feel them with me as I go. I cannot really explain it other to say that- the other night my husband came home from leading UMYF and I was bathing the girls.

Gracie started to sing, "He's got the Whole World In His Hands" right before he got home-- they sang that in Sunday School- and Sophia and I joined along. Kevin came in the bathroom and sat next to us- and there in the bathroom we all sang together. As I walk the Via Delarosa to Calvary I will feel that in an intensely real way. He has the whole world in his hands. He came into the world to save the whole world and saved us on the cross. I am in his hands, you are in his hands...

When I pray- I will hear the voices of my children when they say their prayers. When I go and pray I take with me prayers of those who are joined to me in this great faith- those who are a part of me because we are sisters and brothers in Christ.

I will pray at the Church of the Annuciation, and at Bethlehem, remembering how Christ came into the world and lifting up those I know who are pregnant, about to, or recently had children- my dear friends who live and walk now as mothers, and I will pray for them as I feel the joy Mary felt.

I will pray at the pool of Bethseda remembering those I know who have experienced healing and will pray for those who seek healing.

I will pray at the wailing wall and I will learn about prayer more deeply.

I will pray in the garden of the Gethsemene remembering Christ prayer- seeking to stay awake and aware of His presence in my life and I will pray at the Garden tomb remembering that He is not there- for He is risen!

I will remember those whose generosity has made it possible for me to be on this pilgrim journey. Those saints who have gone before me- the church where I was baptized- where this journey began, the people who have inspired and enriched my faith, the church where I serve now- where Joy is ever visible, truly present, and reverberates in and through all who are there. It is the joy of Jesus Christ that fills me and will sustain me as I continue this journey- held in the hands of Christ journeying closer to the heart of Christ.

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