There is a wonderful moment at the beginning of the Lord of the Rings when Bilbo is describing the allure of the road to young Frodo. “It’s a dangerous business… going out your door” he says “you step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” I love that scene for all that it means for the story. And, I cherish those words because they are such an accurate description of the journey of faith. When we leave our doors in the name of God or in the pursuit of God, either literally or figuratively, we’d better keep our feet, because there’s no knowing where we might be swept off to.
At Pentecost we celebrate the gift of God’s Spirit, often compared to a unpredictable wind or, as the Celts liked to think, a wild goose. Chasing a wild goose or a wild wind can take you to some unheard of places and on some pretty unpredictable courses. The journey of faith can be an adventure.
Sunday a group of our J2A youth will depart on a literal phase of their journey of faith. We will step out of the comfort zones of our homes, out our door and into the flow of life. The trip is a pilgrimage, as many of you are already aware, to Taiwan. We will be gone for 10 days visiting holy sites (holy to Christians as well as some that are holy to many other faiths and traditions), learning about how Christians live and grow in faith in other cultures, and ultimately seeking to encounter the Divine in and through the lives and stories of folks from a different place. I’m sure Bilbo’s word of caution will sound rather prophetic to our group in the coming days. You never know where you might be swept off to when you leave your door.
Thanks again to those of you that have supported us in prayer and finance, in advice and countless other ways. Our pilgrims are blessed to be sent from this place, out the door of this community, and with the full love and support of wonderful people like you. I, and they, are incredibly grateful. This week we will pray for the pilgrims in church (and next week) and I encourage you to lift up prayers from home or at work or wherever you are in the coming 10 days, as we seek to keep our feet, and chase down that Wild Goose, wherever she might lead.
Blessings, and thanks again!