Wednesday, 4 April 2018
Walking to church shapes our expectations. It creates a space for preparation and reflection about what we will experience. In a busy world, walking is a change of pace, an opportunity to prepare for what we anticipate.
I was in Zimbabwe at the end of a long day. I had preached three times and there had been a lot of driving. We pulled up near a disused farmhouse where a group of people was waiting for us. I was tired, and did not feel like preaching again. We greeted the people. “Where have you come from?” I asked. “Over behind those hills,” they replied. I could see the hills. “How far have you come?” “About 20km,” they said. I was silent. People had walked 20km, on paved roads and bush tracks to meet me and to listen to me! At that moment my tiredness was gone. I was ready to share.
I wonder how walking to, and from, our gathering in Zimbabwe shaped the expectations of those people? Walking over such a distance creates space to think, anticipate and to be silent. Maybe the long walk home was a chance to reflect and chat, with God and fellow walkers, about what had been experienced. Maybe walking home from church is also important…taking time to ponder on the shared experience of worship…rather than being caught up in what we plan to do next. On the day of Jesus’ resurrection, some of his followers were travelling to Emmaus, about 10km away, when a stranger overheard their conversation, came near, listened and shared with them. When they reached their destination, the stranger accepted the invitation to stay and shared a meal. He is then revealed as the risen Christ. Their response is to run – back to Jerusalem. A walk becomes a run!
On Good Friday, I had high anticipation of my walk to church to support Walk for Hope. I only walked 7km or so, not over mountains, or along roads, like our friends in Zimbabwe. I reflected on what would come from this walking. Walk for Hope will support the ongoing sharing of the good news of the risen Lord. Our partners across the world will be inviting those who hear to walk with Jesus.
Photo provided by GMP.
Previous posts:May 2019(2)April 2019(3)March 2019(1)January 2019(2)December 2018(6)October 2018(2)September 2018(3)August 2018(3)July 2018(4)June 2018(0)May 2018(9)April 2018(14)February 2018(3)January 2018(1)December 2017(5)November 2017(1)October 2017(5)September 2017(2)August 2017(5)July 2017(7)June 2017(5)May 2017(9)April 2017(10)March 2017(6)February 2017(2)January 2017(1)December 2016(2)November 2016(8)October 2016(8)September 2016(4)August 2016(13)July 2016(7)June 2016(3)May 2016(8)April 2016(13)March 2016(7)February 2016(3)November 2015(1)