Sunday Worship In-person and Streamed Online at 10am

A Devotion From Pastor Alexa

I recently returned from a 6 day pilgrimage in Scotland. (I apologize in advance for the number of times I will reference this trip in future devotions!) We followed St. Cuthbert's Way which spans 62.5 miles from Melrose Abbey to Holy Island (aka Lindisfarne), of which we walked ~34 miles. Each day, we began with prayer, a story from St. Cuthbert's life, and a reflection question: What are you carrying? 

Our luggage was transferred from place to place while we walked, and our leader carried our lunches, so I only carried a small pack with water, my wallet, passport, sunscreen, and chapstick. But spiritually, each one of us was carrying so much more. 

We carried grief, loss, anger, despair, exhaustion, frustration, disenchantment, doubt, uncertainty, pain, joy, anticipation, openness, clarity, relief, delight. We carried laughter. 

Each morning, as we shared with one another what it was that we were carrying, we didn't take on each other's packs. There was not one who said, "lay it on me!" Instead, the acknowledgement of what each one of us was carrying on our many miles strengthened us to carry our own packs, and tenderized our hearts for the weight our fellow pilgrims carried. 

I didn't, and still don't, want to carry what my companions were carrying: their grief, pain, despair. My pack was heavy enough. However, by my companions taking the time to see the invisible pack I carried, and vice versa, we were made stronger - we were made more able to carry those invisible packs. Additionally, this daily practice helped me to acknowledge more than just the heavy stuff in my pack. By the end of the pilgrimage, I realized I was also carrying pride, joy, and delight. 

The question, "What are you carrying?" is a connecting one. It is not, "what am I carrying?" but "what are you carrying?" It is a question we ask another person, and it is one we are asked in return. In our sharing, in the opening of our invisible packs, we become strong, our hearts become tender for our fellow pilgrims, and we can begin to acknowledge more than what is heavy. 

I invite you, fellow pilgrims, to turn to one another and ask with curiosity: What are you carrying? 

May our spirits be strengthened, may our fellow pilgrims become companions, and may our hearts be made tender. In the Holy Spirit's power, may it be so. Amen.

— Pastor Alexa

No Comments





no categories


no tags