Mission Thought of the Day


There is an importance in places. I sometimes wonder what it is like to grow up in the digitally connected world. It is quite possible that many who are now in their 30’s have never been in a place where it wasn’t possible to pick up a device and phone, or latterly video message, a family member and get an instant response.

Homesickness was a part of the whole experience of going to organised summer camps in my childhood. Camping meant heading into the hills for a weekend, or week, with all that you needed and no contact with home. Scotland is small so even then you were usually only at most a day’s walk from a house or a payphone, but still the experience of being disconnected from home started a process of being at home with yourself and companions (if you travelled with some).

When Jesus passed through death the recorded stories describe him meeting his friends in the rooms where they ate together. They met on the beaches of the sea where they had often eaten fish and he had talked to the crowds. I wonder if Jesus walked in the hills, meeting other people in ways that are not recorded. Did Jesus go home to the places of his formative years, and experience them with new eyes?

These stories are part of our creation/alienation/reconciliation story of good news. Feelings of homesickness are real experiences which require us to develop resilience (in many diverse ways!). Feelings of dissonance between our experience of places and our ideas of what they could be or have been can be like losing a limb, or falling physically ill.

Friends gathered on a beach eating food cooked on a wood fire.

When Jesus calls out for his father on the cross this experience of alienation is set in the foreground of the story of the good news. However, perhaps in stories when Jesus is eating fish with his friends on the beach or walking down a dusty road having a chat, we can glimpse the feeling of home which the aching chaos of absence is pregnant with.

Is this why people go on pilgrimage? We don’t seek out suffering, but by placing ourselves in a position of adventure we can heighten our ability for #SensingSpirituality. In leaving home we can develop skills in making ‘place’. In entering the experience of absence, and encountering doubt we can grow in Faith.

… but as friends of Jesus. Not as servants driven by a need to impress a master whos purpose we cannot guess.

A place to make a “sitting place” on the Crichton estate?

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