This month the Sanctuary First theme Ready Pilgrim? on Pilgrimage is quite relevant for me. As the new theme comes up on the site I’ll be in flight heading to Tanzania catching up with a Vine Trust Vision Trip.
This is a group of people, most of whom will be strangers to each other, they will be on a kind of pilgrimage for 6 days moving around in Tanzania in order to become acquainted with the work we do in Vine Trust. The journey will change many of their lives forever. I guess that’s what journeys seem to do.
Getting ready for a journey can be stressful, well I find it stressful - have I got this with me and that with me? Then my final ritualistic pat on each part of my body to check that I have my passport, my wallet and my phone in the right pockets. The trinity required for today’s travellers is not without its rituals.
As we all get ready to reflect on pilgrimage and enjoy the work of the writers this month. We’ll be putting a short film up on the site entitled ‘Breaking Bread’. It’s a short study that will help us link the last three themes of Sanctuary First together. In April we were thinking about food and hospitality, in May we’ve been engaged with the gift of peace and now in June we’re getting ready to be pilgrims over the next two months.
The film made by Jack Steel invites us to consider the journeys we make as we live together perhaps in the same house but living in different parallel worlds, with barely a word spoken across the divide. It’s a strong theme and one I know Iain Jamieson and I have used in the past when we wrote the song ‘Forgiveness’
“Your empty silence lingers in the air
There’s nobody living in our living room”
Certainly the opening scene in Jack’s short film portrays the loneliness of living together but living apart. Using food as our common bridge Jack explores how two people obviously estranged from each other can find reconciliation and forgiveness.
There is of course hints of the sacred engagement of Spirit and bread, in the title ‘Breaking Bread,’ however the role food plays in bringing people together is highlighted in the film and those who have ears to hear and eyes to see beyond the story will see a parable unfolding.
Getting back to my Tanzanian trip I’ll only be away for 6 days but I can assure you the participants on the trip will discover that very quickly they are no longer strangers but pilgrims discovering community and you know what - food will inevitably be the bridge builder.
I hope to share with you all a wee bit about our pilgrimage in Tanzania and the lessons we are learning. So get ready pilgrim to share the journey with me.