The Rev. Canon Anne E. Kitch
Let me hear of your loving-kindness in the morning, for I put my trust in you;
show me the road that I must walk, for I lift my soul to you.
Although I should have anticipated it, the grace of the gathering sneaks up on me. I stand in a hotel lobby in a city not my own, and it begins. Friends and colleagues, familiar and friendly faces, appear all around me. Although we have never been that far away from one another, and some of us have crossed paths even in the last week, we greet each other with joy and enthusiasm, as if we have come from a long away to arrive here.
And we have. It has been a year since we set off on pilgrimage together.
We have traveled various and diverse paths and waters. We have been in conversation along the way. Voicing surprise and hope, trepidation and openness, uncertainty about a journey that was not our own idea and thirst for the adventure of it. Some days accepting the invitation to pilgrimage with ready joy, other days uncertain that it was something to which we belonged. And all the time, some of us moving, some of us still, nevertheless connecting.
And now as I see face after face, as we come to this one time and one place, as we prepare to gather into one body to pray and deliberate, to celebrate and question, to rest and reflect, I am filled with the joy of homecoming.
I know what happens next. We will spiral into the center of who we are as a body, and then we will disperse, to be sent forth to the places and communities from which we came. But we are already different. Already connected, we cannot leave one another behind, but only expand ourselves, our souls, beyond this one time and one place to be God’s people along all the ways we travel. To be salt and light. To be God’s beloved.
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