An English Pilgrimage
While he was on a Wesleyan pilgrimage to England and Wales during Advent and Christmas, we received these journal entries from Christopher, a member of Epworth Chapel on the Green.
The entries are are accessible by clicking their links at the left.
O God, you called Abraham and Sarah to leave their home and protected them in all their wanderings; Grant those who travel now by land, sea, or air, a prosperous journey, a time of peace, and a safe arrival at their journey's end. Be to them a shadow in the heat, a refuge in the tempest, a protection in adversity, and grant that when life's pilgrimage is over they may arrive at the heavenly country; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
-Prayers for the Start of a Journey, Christopher L. Webber, Church Publishing Corporation, New York, 1999
Entry One, Tuesday, First Week of Advent: En route to England.
Rush, no sleep, so much to do, rush, technological hurdles, rush, remembering the things I'd forgotten-well, some, anyway-surely it wasn't this way for John Wesley? (What can be technological about a horse, for goodness sake?
"Open thou my lips, O God, and my mouth shall show forth your praise."
Well, yes, but riding a horse must be more conducive to prayer than is being a passenger with a crowd of other people on an airplane.
"Out of the depths have I called to you, O Lord."
Yes, it takes effort to pray; that's why praying the hours of the day- the "divine office"-was called the work of God. That kind of prayer was thought of as being the work of God in the sense that it (the prayer) was presented by the people to God.
I'm beginning to think, though, that God puts more work into our prayers than we do. I think his grace is prevenient in this way, too, and that he's highly involved with our prayers before we pray them.
I have a new bit of evidence for that opinion: a belatedly dawning hint, an intimation, that what I had thought would be a Wesleyan trip just may turn out to be a pilgrimage - one that is spiritual and not just historical, antiquarian, intellectual and sentimental.
Surprised by grace. As I should be.
"I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; for only you, Lord, make me dwell in safety."