In his delightful book Sun Dancing, Geoffrey Moorhouse tells the story of the three men who set out in a tiny boat without oars or sails — for they wanted to be on pilgrimage for the “love of God.” This pilgrimage, called peregrinatio, was a pilgrimage of the heart expressed in a real journey. Peregrinatio was the desert in the ocean, as one author describes it. It was the journey without direction or guidance, except from the Spirit of God.
If you had asked me almost four years ago, before I came to Chatham — Where will you take the church? I would have had an answer for you. Now, however, I see things differently. Planning can certainly be helpful, don’t get me wrong. But, some things cannot be planned. They unfold. They appear on the horizon. They arise out of nothing but the presence of God, and offer themselves as divine serendipities to those with eyes to see.
We are adrift in our church right now, but we are not aimlessly adrift. We are seeking to find the “current of God” where the Spirit of God is flowing. We want to be there when the swelling tide of which hymn writers spoke carries us to the next place with God. So, like the ancient Celtic Christian pilgrims, we are on a journey for the love of God. We do not know the destination, nor do we seek to discern it as we pass landmarks on the way. We only know that we are seeking to travel with the same God who led Israel with a cloud by day and fire by night. The journey and the destination are one, for we are traveling with God. Isn’t that the goal of our lives after all?