Pilgrimage at Home

A pilgrimage is a spiritual practice that is common to all the world’s religions. Usually associated with a particular destination, a pilgrimage is a journey whose primary goal is growth in spiritual understanding. The most common destination is the birthplace of a spiritual leader or of the movement itself. While traveling to the site the pilgrim spends time reflecting on their life and what is to come.

Pilgrimage is one of those very spiritual sounding words that we often don’t think apply to us. I have seldom been on am intentional spiritual pilgrimage, but many destinations have proven to be spiritually significant to me. A chapel near Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, a mountainside in Frisco CO, are all places that I immediately recall when I reflect on locations where I felt close to God. I didn’t set out to have that experience, but it came to me as part of a tourist or educational visit.

One intentional pilgrimage is walking a labyrinth. The labyrinth is often compared to a maze, but the purpose of a maze is to confuse, while a labyrinth walk is designed to bring clarity and spiritual strength. Medieval Christian labyrinths were built into cathedral floors to serve as a symbolic pilgrimage to Jerusalem. If you couldn’t afford to go to the holy land, you could symbolically go on the same journey to the heart of God—found in the center of the labyrinth.

This Sunday we will have a portable labyrinth at CCH as part of our Lenten season. It will be set up in the sanctuary following worship. At 11:30 I will lead a short introduction to the labyrinth walk. We will also have the sanctuary open from 6:00-8:00 PM for personal time on the labyrinth. Though the confirmation class will do a group walk at 6:30 PM.

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