A couple of posts back I suggested that part of the nature of pilgrimage is that it is unsettling. It requires we break out of the familiar and the safe and this is so our security rests only in the divine Presence. Still true! But it's worth saying that it also helps to make it less scary when you have other people who are on the journey with you. We are meant to be a community of pilgrims, not a bunch of isolated wanderers; church is a family on a journey, and we are not meant to travel alone.
Having said that, new journeys - or perhaps better to say, new stages of the journey - may involve disconnecting with some people (Abraham had to leave his people and his father's house - Gen.12:1), as well as continuing with others and discovering new connections and re-connections with still others. This is part of the 'relational journey' that I mentioned in my last post. Just over two years ago, quite out of the blue, I felt that the Holy Spirit dropped into my heart and mind (with a clarity and simplicity that is not typical of the way I hear God!) that this was going to be a season of new connections and re-connections for me. Little did I realise what this was going to mean! I am now convinced from my own observations and from talking with other leaders in the country that the Body of Christ in the UK is going through a major reconfiguration and realignment, with some connections loosening and others being discovered and others deepened.
While relationship, community and shared pilgrimage is great, the processes of dis-connection, re-connection and discovering new connections, the loosening of some and the deepening of other connections can be confusing, bewildering and painful. Disconnection can be especially painful and destructive if handled badly and so I want to share some thoughts on this whole subject in posts this week, and hope you'll find them helpful. Please feel free to join in the conversation of pilgrims too as I can only offer my perspective and that is inevitably limited. That's one of the reasons we need each other.