Pilgrim People

Rev. Cliff WarnerCliffNotes

The people of God are a pilgrim people. From the moment we begin seeking God we are on the move toward Him; after encountering Jesus we walk with him, a lifelong journey toward the “City of God” in which God’s reign is full and final, in ourselves and our world.

This Sunday is Epiphany, the day in which we mark the pilgrims, “wise men from the east,” the first Gentiles, who came to visit Jesus. This morning, while reading through Matthew’s account, I noticed a pilgrim pattern for our own life, in the story of the wise men.

The wise men “came asking.” Every human being begins here: asking, seeking, lacking.

The wise men “saw a star.” They followed the clues. The maker’s mark is evident in everything He has made.

Herod “summoned the wise men secretly.” Someone wanted to exploit their spiritual interest for the sake of their own agenda. Seekers today must also be savvy about and resist the ways that false teaching, religions and gospels will exploit their spiritual quest.

When the wise men encounter Jesus, here are the verbs that describe their actions; they saw, fell down, worshipped, and offered. This is the proper response to having an audience with a king.

The wise men were “warned in a dream. They received a message from God. Pilgrims today also have God’s message, the scriptures full of good news and warnings, challenge and comfort.

The wise men returned home “by another way.” They are still a pilgrim people, now going back to their familiar land and life, but as a people transformed. After we seek and then meet our King, we return to our life, but “by another way.”

We are a pilgrim people. On what stage of the journey are you? Which stage speaks to your situation right now?

A fellow pilgrim,