Hope is a Journey

The poster for the forthcoming film The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry features the strapline ‘Hope is a Journey’. Harold leaves the house one day to post a reply to a card from a friend from his past, and then he decides that he will walk the length of the country to see her instead. His friend is very ill, but he believes his walking will keep her alive. And so the pilgrimage begins, affecting many other folks along the way.
We often talk of life being like a journey, and certainly the Bible, that Good Book of Life, is packed with travelling tales. Jesus was always on the move, when his friends told him that the crowds were looking for him again at the end of Mark’s Gospel, he said he had to journey on to a new place, to meet new people, and help them. As they travelled Jesus told stories, and his followers held their own conversations. Walking with others often creates opportunities to talk, and perhaps because we face forward when we travel, rather than looking at one another, sometimes it enables us to unwrap some of our deeper concerns and troubles.
Ruth, Abraham, Paul, Barnabas, Jonah, Joseph and Mary, and a whole generation of desert-trekking Israelites, undertook journeys. And learned much along the way. Pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem at Passover and then Pentecost, had unexpected encounters with the living God. We are travellers in this world, not merely wandering but heading somewhere eternal and full of hope. But each moment of the journey matters. Each precious capsule of time is pregnant with the presence of God.

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