Pilgrimage (n): A long journey to a sacred place for a spiritual purpose.
This morning was one of those happy accidents that God seems to coordinate for no other reason than to give us a shared smile. I was reading Trevin Wax’s excellent devotion Psalms in 30 Days, which uses the Christian Standard Bible as its base translation. I got to Psalm 84, one of my favorites. But I’m used to it in the ESV, where verse 5 reads,
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.”
Psalm 84:5 ESV
So the different language of the CSB jumped out at me:
“Happy are the people whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.”
Psalms 84:5 CSB
A pilgrimage is a long journey, usually taken with a group, to a sacred place, for the purpose of meditation, veneration, and spiritual transformation.
Today, I join 30 other pilgrims from Prattville, Alabama to Israel. We will walk in the footsteps of Jesus, but also the footsteps of Abraham, Moses, David, and Ezekiel.
We will follow the steps of Jesus, but also of Jerome, Augustine, Richard the Lionhearted, Luther, Mark Twain, and TE Lawrence.
We will walk in the footsteps of Christians, Muslims, Jews, and pagans, across the most bitterly contested and bloodstained and real estate on the planet.
Pray for our band of pilgrims. Pray for safety. Pray for times of reflection, enlightenment, worship, and transformation.
Day 1: Prattville to Atlanta, Atlanta to Istanbul.