Being a more intentional Pilgrim in 2023

“In those days, at that time”
    “the people of Israel will come,
And the people of Judah with them.
    Walking and weeping, they’ll seek me, their God.
They’ll ask directions to Zion
    and set their faces toward Zion.
They’ll come and hold tight to God,
    bound in a covenant eternal they’ll never forget.

Jeremiah 50:5

January 16. We have now reached the mid point of the first month in this new year. By now everyone should be writing “2023” on checks and other documents without a moment’s hesitation.

It is also time to review all those promises, intentions, and resolutions that were made with such conviction January1. Take a look, make some realistic assessments, and narrow it all down to one main idea.

Mine, and this associates well with the Epiphany Star I took from church (“Challenge”), is to lean into the idea of 2023 as a journey, a pilgrimage. In other words, to see myself as very much in motion rather than static; headed somewhere rather than shoring up and digging in; still on this intentional path of following Jesus.

Sunday morning Rebekah and I got up a little early so we could make it to church in time for pastor Mac’s class, focusing on The Via Francigena, the ancient pilgrim trail from Canterbury to Rome. Mac picked up the walk in Switzerland, completing his sabbatical experience with the hike across the Alps and through Italy.

– Mac’s class at HMPC

What he learned – among many other things – was that God always has so much to teach us, and especially through the people and the relationships along the way.

Pilgrimage, then, is both a solitary and a community experience. It is not so much that we know where we are going as we know the direction we are traveling, and that we know who we are walking with. We were created – and I have written this many times – for relationship, both with the Godhead and with one another.

If we are walking with God then we are necessarily pilgrims. We don’t have to be on The Via Francigena we simply have to invite Jesus, every day, to be our companion and guide.

So I am leaning in to 2023 as an intentional pilgrim. Or, as I titled it in one of my books, a Pilgrim in Progress. – DEREK


  1. Love the idea of Jesus’ company on the journey as a companion and guide. I’m intentional about my discipleship. Following Jesus every step of the way in 2023! Blessings, brother, and thanks for sharing with us.

    Liked by 1 person

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