In just over a week now a group of 12 pilgrims from Wabingston -- 9 from Kingston -- will be beginning a pilgrimage to the holy land of the Celtic Christians in Scotland and Northumbria (Northeast England). While the rest of us will not be getting on the plane, this puts me in mind of the fact that we are all pilgrims. Pilgrimage begins in God and ends in God -- not just in one holy place or another. Pilgrimage is life and death and eternity. And so, especially in these Great 50 Days of Easter, we are reminded we are not
just pilgrims on any journey, but pilgrims of the cross and the empty tomb. We journey with Jesus resurrected with wounds in his eternal body to discover where the darkness of this world and light of Christ become one in God's salvation. As pilgrims we are walking the way that leads us to discover how the pains and struggles, momentary glories and laughter, our deepest loves are all wound up in God's glory. In his novel called Godric, Frederick Buechner has the Celtic saint Godric pray: "be thine wounds that heal our wounding. Press thy bloody scars to ours that thy dear blood may flow in us and cleanse our sins." It is the great Pascal (Easter) mystery, that the cross and hatred of human hearts is redeemed into a sign of eternal love and life. "Laugh till you weep. Weep till there's nothing left but to laugh at your weeping. In the end it's all one," Buechner's Godric counsels. May each of you, my beloved pilgrims, laugh and weep yourselves into the journey to eternal life beside our Lord Jesus this Pascal season and, of course, for forevermore.
The Very Rev. Gary Barker