I realize that many who may read this post have traveled internationally, but outside of a handful of mission trip experiences, our recent trip to the British Isles was a new adventure in international travel for our trio. One of the recurring observations I made as we traveled had to do with logistics. I find the nuts and bolts of the traveling experience, with it’s many mediums of transportation, interesting – and something that we tend to take to for granted.
Just consider in our three week jaunt we experienced transportation through six different airplanes, three tour buses (coaches being the preferred UK term), two shuttle vans, two rental cars (was I ever glad to say good-bye to them!), two ferries, a taxi, two overground trains, innumerable underground trains, and our own six feet! Each of these transportation mediums required advance planning, check in and security procedures, coordination of on and off-boarding (mind the gap!), financial commitments (sign here!), guides/drivers/pilots, en-route services (some better than others), and fellow travelers. Continue reading
We have seen many churches on our tour of the British Isles. These have ranged from the impressive Westminster Abbey to the ancient Iona Abbey and its ruins. But by far the church visits that I have enjoyed the most are the three Baptist congregations we’ve worshipped with on Sunday mornings. These living and vibrant communities of faith warmly welcomed us as guests in their midst, and reminded me of some important lessons. Continue reading
One of the things that continues to catch my eye as we traverse the lands of Scotland and Ireland are the many photogenic passage ways that come into view. I’ve included a few pictures in this post to illustrate what we’ve seen.
Initially these registered as scenic paths or walkways leading us toward a new destination or discovery. But in time I came to see the deeper passage ways pilgrims
of faith have followed in their pursuit of hope, answers and reassurance in life’s challenges. Truly we are not so different today as we continue to seek paths to God and our own faithful discipleship.
These moments in time are helping me reframe my thinking along the way as to how to articulate the One who is “The Way” to others in our world filled with round-abouts (something Europe loves) and dead end choices.
I invite you to identify the everyday passage ways you see before you today and consider the paths you are choosing.
One of my hopes for this Sabbatical is to be open to things the Lord may have to show me as we worship with other churches, travel to different lands, and experience new things. Yesterday while on our pilgrimage trip to Iona, where the Christian faith is said to have started in Scotland through St. Columba, I learned a bit more about the tradition behind the Celtic Cross. Continue reading
This summer the congregation I partner with in ministry and I have been given a gift. It’s the gift of a sabbatical. By definition a sabbatical is to be a time of rest, renewal, reflection and refreshment. It shares the same root as the word “sabbath”. My understanding of sabbath is, in part, a disruption of the normal routine in order to be able to live a different rhythm. Just as the sabbath invites us to stop, worship, rest and rejoice – breaking the weekly rhythm of work and production; the hope of a sabbatical is to also live into a new, or different rhythm in order to pay attention to new and different things. One who has observed sabbath is ready to re-enter and re-engage in the routine of life, knowing that he or she is not at the center of keeping the world spinning. So is the hope of a sabbatical – to re-set one’s perspective and allow a refreshed and reinvigorated engagement in vocation for the next season. Continue reading