thoughts of pilgrimage

Let Us Go Up to Jerusalem!

inspired by Psalm 122
Deborah Beach Giordano
© September 14, 2009

When I saw the advertisement
for a 12-night, 14-day tour
of the Holy Land:
first-class accommodations,
meals and tips included,
and an English-speaking guide –
I was thrilled.

Wouldn’t it be grand
to stand within the gates
of that Sacred City —
Jerusalem, o Jerusalem! —
to see the sights
and walk the streets
where Jesus walked.

To set foot on that Center Stage
on which the great drama
of history was played out;
to see with my own eyes
the City of David,
the seat of holy judgment,
the Land of Israel.

Devoutly to be wished is
such a fine a noble pilgrimage,
in honor and imitation
of those made by other Christians:
a faith-fueled journey
where hope and imagination
dwell in perfect harmony.

For the sake of my relatives
and friends and colleagues
and everyone I know,
I will leave an offering
at each shrine
and coins
in every beggar’s hand.

“Peace be with you!”
I will declare,
“For the sake of our God,
in the Name of the Lord,
I will seek your good always.”
Such vows and promises
I will make!

A steady stream of prayers
will fall from my lips;
piety will drip from my every pore;
I will be cleansed
as though with hyssop,
and my spirit will soar
on the wings of a dove.

I’ll be so religious —
so filled with forgiveness,
generosity,
compassion,
mercy,
and lovingkindness —
that you won’t recognize me.

And then I awoke as if from a dream;
the scales fell from my eyes,
and I saw the truth revealed:
you won’t find Jesus
by the pool of Siloam,
or in dusty ancient caves,
if you can’t find Him at home.

If we seek to follow the Way
walked by our once and future King
there is no need to travel
back through time
or to distant exotic lands.
The time is now, the place is here,
the path is right under our own two feet.

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About inklingscommunity

I am a struggling Christian, committed pacifist, near-obsessive recycler, incurable animal lover, inveterate tree-hugger; a nature mystic, a socialized introvert, an advocate for the vulnerable, an opponent of exploiters.
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