I’ve been thinking a lot about the pilgrim nature of our lives as Christians. In particular, with so many rapid changes in our culture here in the West, I’m reminded that I’m just passing through and that this world is not my home. Jeremy Walker’s new book Passing Through: Pilgrim Life in the Wilderness, is such a breath of fresh air for the Christian that I cannot recommend it heartily enough.
Walker, a pastor in England, is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. His informed theology, pastoral warmth, and active service for Christ plays out in all of his works and is just as present here in Passing Through.
As Christians we vacillate between isolationist (just gotta endure until the Lord comes) and over-engagement (going to create me a Christian culture on earth). Yet, the reality is, we are travelers making our way to the Celestial City (in the words of Bunyan), and while we will seek “the welfare of the city” (in the words of Jeremiah) this world is not our home. We are aliens and strangers and our citizenship is in heaven.
On that note, Walker brings a helpful balance to our identity as strangers and pilgrims. He helps us to understand our enemy while we travel here on earth, know our battles and our mission, and teaches us how to live in and appreciate the beauty of this world as we anticipate our final destiny of living with Christ for all eternity. Pastors and teachers would be well served to work through the various elements that Walker presents for us in a series to help the many people in our churches who do not know where they are going, how they should get there, and what they should do while they’re here.
I would strongly suggest Christians in the West think through Walker’s teachings here. On that note, I will leave you with the final though from Walker himself, which sums up why this concept of “pilgrimage” is something to be rediscovered in hte church,
And so we live as a pilgrim people, separated to God, engaging for God, citizens of Christ’s heavenly kingdom, seeking His glory every step of the way, living and dying to that end, waiting for His return, pressing on, passing through.