|"Christmas Eve," 5 x 7 watercolor greeting card|
We are all pilgrims.
For those who believe and attempt to follow the teachings of Jesus, this religion-ordained eve of his birth prompts a pilgrimage of sorts to church services throughout the world, perhaps reminding us that we, like Jesus and his Jewish parents on the night of his birth, were also pilgrims.
We are not alone. "Next year in Jerusalem," is the closing wish and song of Jews the world over as they remember their pilgrimages at Passover in the Seder meal. As children of pilgrim Abraham, of exodus from Egypt, of exile and return, and of 4,000 years of existence, they too know they are pilgrims.
The other children of Abraham, Muslims know they are pilgrims. Every year millions travel to worship in Mecca, the birthplace of Mohammed. One of the five pillars of Islam is this pilgrimage, the Haji, once in life.
Many others make pilgrimages, whether for religious or personal reasons on this week or at other times of the year. Christmas is a time for family pilgrimages for reunions. "I'll be home for Christmas." My pilgrimages are to my mother's grave, once a year or to New Mexico. Many others who return to home country for family and other special occasions.
Consider the English term "pilgrim" originally comes from the Latin word peregrinus (per, through + ager, field, country, land), which means a foreigner, a stranger, someone on a journey, or a temporary resident. We even have a falcon from that name, though given the migration of birds and animals....
What should that remind us of, especially in these uncertain times--that there are always uncertain times, that we are on a journey?
Are we are not all children of Abraham, pilgrims?