There was a time when this small band of pilgrims included furious, brow-furrowed fishermen, troubled tax demanders, courageous women with embalming fluid in the creases of their palms, boundless party animals, and those whose only means of survival came from their bodies. Now this band is far from small, and there are jesters, and ex-crooks, professors, sporting types, the rich and those who struggle to make ends meet. Scientists, artists, cleaners, and carers. Conformers, reformers, and rebels. Politicians and constituents, voters and shunners, nuns and monks, the quiet, the quarrelsome and the questioning. Tweeters, talkers, and transformers. The satisfied and struggling, the hungry, hurting, and hopeful. The silent, the quiet and the voiceless. And those whose means of survival comes from their bodies. All of them, all of us, on this long road to freedom. A band of billions now. And what began amongst the impoverished, the powerless and the pilloried people, continues in those same treasured lives, flourishes in those same harsh and shadowy spheres. Yes, there are more buildings now, more songs and books and opinions and worldviews, but the road remains the same. And we trek on, in our various guises and faces, outfits and modes of travelling. Us squalid saints and would-be heroes hauling ourselves along. Alone and together. Carrying bags of regrets and worries, aspirations and disappointments, laughs, sobs, and longings. Following, questioning, meandering, trusting, doubting, learning, forgetting, agreeing, arguing, cajoling, encouraging. With the son of splendour in our sights. The son of time, the son of history, of galaxies and this global quagmire. The son of reality, of promise, and of our chaotic daily mishmash. The son of the quiet calm places, and in the rushing hurry of the day’s traffic jams and locked doors. Unpredictable and free. Misunderstood and maligned. The son who knows every smile and every sneer, every gasp for breath, and every unspoken sentence. The son with our names forever etched in the colours and compassion of his being.
Acts 1 v 14