Where Have You Encountered God?

I asked someone last week if they had ever had an experience of God. That is a very unusual question, and when I ask it I assume it will be the first time that it has been posed. Answers usually take the form of feelings – peace, belonging; places – the ocean, a mountain view; people – a beloved family member, sometimes even the loss of a loved one; sometimes a transcendent sense of oneness (Herman Melville called it the “all” feeling). As life happens, if we pay attention, God happens too. Our life is a pilgrim way, a journey, to the heart of faith in the heart of creation. The summer is a wonderful time to make these discoveries.

(Continue Reading…) Such questing souls in the Celtic tradition were often called “peregrini.” The name derives from the Latin peregrines and carries the idea of wandering over a distance. It also gives us the term “pilgrim.” The First Letter of Peter has a wonderful verse, “Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul” (1 Ptr. 2: 11 – The Message paraphrase).

Today we follow many others who have answered the question, “Where have I experienced God?” – the ones who have gone looking for God. We walk with them to places where God and the human story meet. The summer, which is a discovery time for all of us, will find a particular focus in our choir’s residency at Saint Paul’s Cathedral London, where Jeremiah Clarke was organist and composed his “Trumpet Voluntary” that accompanies many of our brides down the aisle. Parishioners will join them on a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral. Young people will travel to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to find the sacred in another culture in our own country! Our journey to London, Canterbury, and Cannon Ball, ND serves the entire parish, as each one of us seeks to encounter God in the journey of our daily lives.

Here is a prayer by Jan Berry –

God of our journeying,
inviting us to travel with you,
forgive us when we cling to outworn security,
afraid to let go of what is safe and familiar.
Give us courage
to take the risk
of answering your call
into joyous adventure.


~ Cliff