BEREKUSO, GH – Remember Y2K? The only thing I remember from those days is a story I told in a Y2K sermon at Foundation Church from 1000 years earlier about believers who gathered from all over Europe on the eastern shore of Spain to wait for the second coming. The route they walked there became a pilgrimage known as “The Way,” or the “Way of St. James,” or The Camino de Santiago, as tradition holds the saint’s remains are buried there.
Since telling that story in 1999, I’ve longed to make this pilgrimage myself. I had a couple close calls: my daughter Grace and I were going to join it in 2011, but she became an intern for Asian Access that summer. Last October, Grace and her husband Ryosuke and I had plans, but my mother-in-law fell sick, and they left Japan to care for her. It was a good choice.
So in the weeks between getting my grades in and graduation, I am joining The Camino. It is a 500-mile trek with everything you need on your back. For me, that is about 17 lbs. As I age, I realize that this body may not always be able to traverse The Way, so today I leave to join it, and on Wednesday, join up with The Camino.
If you pray, here is a blessing I could use:
PILGRIM’S BLESSING (circa 1864)
Lord, you who called your servant Abraham out of the town of Ur in Chaldea and watched over him during all his wanderings; You who guided the Jewish people through the desert; We pray for you to watch your servants, who for the love of your name make a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
Be for them:
a companion on their journey
the guide of their intersections
the strengthening during fatigue
the fortress in danger
the resource on their itinerary
the shadow of their heat
the light of their darkness
the consolation during dejection
and the power of their intention
so that those under your guidance, safely and unhurt, may reach the end of their journey,
and strengthened with gratitude and power, secure and filled with happiness,
may follow them home, for Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Amen.