This seems to be a season for moving. We have so many friends who, in the last few months, have uprooted from their homes and moved, some just across town, but others across the country or even across the world. Others have embarked on extensive pilgrimages, like Gary and Ev Heard, good friends of ours from Australia who are walking the camino de Santiago, in Spain.
Journeys bring us back to the essentials. Pilgrims must carry everything they need in small backpacks. Those that are moving usually try to pare down their possessions so they will fit in their car or the smallest moving van possible. There is no room for clutter and what has cluttered our lives in the past is quickly removed.
It is amazing how quickly we gather unnecessary clutter, not just objects we don’t need but habits and rituals that complicate rather than simplify life. How often I wonder do we get caught up in the clutter of our Christian faith and allow it to obscure the essentials?
What is your response?
What do you think the essentials of the Christian faith are that we need to strip down to? Write them down. Now spend a few minutes to think about your own life and faith. How much of your time and energy is focused on those essentials?
Christians are all pilgrims, on a journey towards a closer relationship with God and with our neighbours. Our journey too should have us sorting through our spiritual possessions and stripping down to the essentials on a regular basis.
For Jesus I think the essentials of faith were God is always present and God is love. Everything that he committed his time and energy to reflected that. He did not clutter himself with possessions or with religious rituals and habits that seemed irrelevant and often questioned the rituals others thought were essential for their faith.
What is your response?
Listen to the hymn below – the only hymn John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress wrote. Think of your own Christian pilgrimage. When was the last time you prepared for the next phase of your Christian journey by sorting through your “possessions”? When was the last time you evaluated the habits and observances that make up your Christian life and pared them back down to the essentials? Prayerfully consider these questions. What is God saying to you today that could help you both identify and strip back to the essentials of your faith.