Psa. 84:10 For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than live in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
he bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does the LORD withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12 O LORD of hosts,
happy is everyone who trusts in you.
As the pilgrim makes their journey they discover their home is in the courts of the Lord. No matter how long and arduous the journey, finding the way home brings with it an overwhelming sense of peace, and just one day in the house of God makes it all worthwhile.
Along the way God has provided the sun and the shield. He has been the pillar of fire and the cloud which have led the way and they have faithfully brought the pilgrim to the presence of the Lord. While the journey may be difficult the one who trusts in God is filled with his joy.
Pilgrim wandering is nothing new. As we see refugees traveling from country to country trying to find a new home we consider the struggles of their lives. They are simply trying to move on to find someplace better than where they have been, seeking protection along the way. Ultimately they want to find a new home and even one day there will bring great joy as compared to the journey.
Mary and Joseph were pilgrims on a journey both physically and spiritually. They were young and quite unaware of what everything meant. Mary was pregnant and yet had never slept with a man. There were angels who had promised them both that this was something special and unique from God. Great with child they were forced to travel to Bethlehem and so, as pilgrims, they arrived and found a very humble space for the King to be born. His presence transformed a stable into a throne room, and the pilgrims found themselves at home with God.
The journey may be strenuous and tiring. The obstacles along the way may seem insurmountable, but just as the sun rises from day to day so God is our guide and our shield. He will not let us down as we make our own personal pilgrimage. Ultimately the journey will lead us into his holy presence where we will find peace and rest. It may be a day or it may be years that we get to enjoy that holy presence, no matter, he is faithful.
On our pilgrim journey of anticipation of advent, may we travel with joy. Our trust is in him who leads and guides us, and will usher us into his holy presence where the pilgrims find themselves finally home.
Lord, thank you for your promises and your protection. Amen.
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