13th December 2010
Are You Pilgrim Or Tourist?
“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life.”
Romans 6:3-4 (NKJV)
Scripture tells us that we are on a journey of faith. Christians embark on a life-time journey from when they are called, to when they are called home, as it is often worded.
We Christians realise that this world is not our real home. We are in fact journeying towards our real home—closer and closer, and day by day. But do we travel as pilgrims or as tourists?
Think of the care we take when planning a trip or a holiday. All the arrangements made in advance, the booking of tickets, the finalising of reservations and hotel bookings. And for that we are tourists, plain and simple. But Christians often plan nothing for their pilgrimage.
For pilgrims, other things need to be considered. Implied is that we are leaving behind something. Abraham left the land of his birth to ‘go out’ to the promised land. For us it has involved a change of allegiance, even a change in direction of life. Paul puts it even more dramatically (see above), as death to the old life, and a resurrection to the new.
As pilgrims our journey continues. We keep on keeping on; we keep on changing, growing, developing. We mustn’t grow comfortable with the now, with the pleasures of the moment, because we are pilgrims; we haven’t yet arrived.
Most merciful Father, having begun our journey with you, our pilgrimage, we seek your constant guidance to keep us on the right road, to keep us considering how we journey day by day, to keep our eyes on our destination. We pray in humble gratitude through Jesus’ holy name.
Study by John Stettaford