A pilgrim is essentially, one who walks and a pilgrimage in the Holy Land involves a good deal of walking, some of it on difficult terrain. But that experience is one of the ways in which the pilgrim comes close to Christ, because we know that he did a significant amount of walking and Christians literally and metaphorically seek to walk in his Way.

One of the most instructive things about Jesus’s ministry is his willingness to walk towards danger and difficulty. Where we might be tempted to look for avoidance, he sought to expose injustice and to challenge those who misguided others, he walked towards the wounded. After his transfiguration, Jesus, in Luke’s memorable phrase, ‘set his face to go to Jerusalem’ although he must have known that would take him into the centre of jeopardy. Perhaps it reminds us of those who in these difficult days are putting themselves at risk for the health and welfare of others. For this we owe them a great debt of gratitude.

This path in the desert, not far from Jerusalem, is a reminder that the way can be hard but the pilgrim keeps their heart set on the goal. Hardship is followed by glory, not perhaps in the world’s terms but rather it is spiritual gold. May Christ walk with you on your pilgrim walk wherever you are and wherever you are heading.