“They left for their own country by another road”
Beyond the familiar routes of separation to God’s new paths
- Psalm 16 – You show me the path of life.
- Matthew 11:25-30 – Because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent, and have revealed them to infants.
We do not know what the wise men thought – they who were experts in astronomy and navigation – when they were warned to return by another road. They may well have been very confused, but the same light that illumined their journey showed them that there was another road, another possibility. They were called to change direction.
We often find ourselves bound by our familiar ways of doing things and of seeing the world. When these ways or ‘roads’ are closed, we wonder how to proceed and continue the journey. We have to trust that the everlasting One who gave us the light, can always find a way forward when our ways and paths are blocked. A fresh start is always possible when we are willing and open to the work of the Spirit.
As churches we look to the past and find illumination, and we look to the future in search of new ways so that we can continue to shine the light of the Gospel as we journey by another way, together.
when we only know one way
and we think we must return to it,
when we think that all roads are blocked,
and we fall into despair,
we always find you there,
creating a new unexpected path before us.
If we search our maps and find no route,
nonetheless we always find you,
who lead us by a yet more excellent way,
trusting that you will always lead us back to you
and forward in unity together. Amen.
Journeying on parallel paths
or often in opposite directions
We are called by ‘another way’
to become pilgrim companions
the people of The Way
Compasses and maps orientated
route finding and navigating together
our backpacks not burdensome
our boots crunching on,
rediscovering ancient paths,
walking humbly together with our God.
- Global: What other ways of journeying together could we explore that would lead us into a better future?
- Local: What do we take for granted about our daily rhythms? What blessing might someone of another tradition receive from the worship in your church? How might the worship of your church be perceived by someone of another tradition?
- Personal: How does it feel when your familiar ways or traditions are challenged?
Go and Do
Global: Find out how communities from all over the world joined in pilgrimage for climate justice in 2021. Plan as churches together to continue the journey to a better future for the planet and for us all. Find out more at christianaid.org.uk/campaigns
Local: Organise a local pilgrimage between the churches in your area, for example, you could walk to each of the church buildings or find your nearest pilgrim route.
Personal: Journey familiar routes by another way, for example walk 50% more slowly on your errands today, what do you notice? How do you see things differently?
Original source: WPCU 2022