A Family of Pilgrims

The Bible is more than a collection of disjointed, unrelated stories.  It is a history of God’s relationship with people and their relationships with one another.  Everything we need to know to live at peace with God and man can be found in its pages.  Sometimes we listen.  Too often we don’t.

King David followed his passions into an adulterous affair with another man’s wife.  When he couldn’t cover up his sins David resorted to murder.  When he was forced to look at his own actions he was outraged.  Whatever he learned, though, David failed to pass the lessons on to his children.  One of his sons followed his passion to rape his own sister, and another son exacted revenge by killing him.  Outrageous acts of lust and murder played out once again in the palace.

Often times we still fail to pass the lessons that we learn on to our families.  Teaching lessons of righteousness and faith doesn’t just happen.  It requires conscious effort.  Henry H. Tweedy was a professor of Practical Theology at Yale Divinity School.  He co-authored a book titled Training the Devotional Life, in which he included an emphasis on teaching through hymns.  One of his hymns, O Spirit of the Living God, calls out for God’s teaching and our learning.  It reflects a conscious hunger to know and a real commitment to learn.

Teach us to utter living words
of truth which all may hear,
the language all may understand
when love speaks loud and clear;
till every age and race and clime
shall blend their creeds in one,
and earth shall form one family
by whom thy will is done.

On your path today, know the love of God.  Then share the love of God.

Follow the Path!

[Use with A Family Divided, day 27 of A Labyrinth Pilgrimage]

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Purpose on the Path

Every story in the Bible supports a series of common themes.  From creation to salvation, God’s love and mercy appear chapter by chapter and book by book.  Yet every story is unique.  Every situation presents a different challenge.  Every person has a special purpose.

The journey to the foot of the cross also has many things in common for every pilgrim.  It begins from the same place, follows the same path, takes the same turns, and leads to the same destination.  At the same time, each journey is unique.  Different pilgrims have different backgrounds and perspectives.  Each one of us has a different purpose.

Frederick Lucian Hosmer captured a sense of these common themes and unique purposes in his hymn Forward Through the Ages.  Line by line he contrasts eternal goals with present needs.  Look for your place in the words that follow.

Forward through the ages, in unbroken line,
move the faithful spirits at the call divine;
gifts in differing measure, hearts of one accord,
manifold the service, one the sure reward.

Take comfort in God’s continuing themes.  Take notice from the situations around you.  Take action according to your gifts.

Follow the Path!

[Use with Peace in Promise, day 26 of A Labyrinth Pilgrimage]

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