Pilgrimage: It’s the one thing you may have noticed a distinct lack of round here. Ha – there’s an evangelical Christian for you? But as I say in my book’s introduction, that’s not because I fear it, or think it isn’t an “evangelical” thing to do. No, far from it. It’s simply because many before me have written on it far better than I could, and the engagement of faith with pilgrimages is already a massive thing across the world.
But as all the hype around my book launches dies down and I get back to normal life, I was sent a recommendation by a mentor back home to pick up this one and give it a read. I was initially sceptical, knowing nothing of either the author or the book, but I’ve found it a rich treasure trove of scriptural meditations, thought-provoking statements and marvelous quotations!
Rev David Cupples set off on a Sabbatical to enjoy two of the Caminos in France and Spain and has collated his thoughts in this colourful guide for anyone contemplating pilgrimage. Noting that no-one he met in his weeks of walking ever had the original purposes of traversing to the remains of ancient “saints”, he not only leads us in beautiful worship and practical tips, but also adds helpful commentary to many who go on pilgrimage.
For those taking their time and mulling over this as a devotional or as they travel, the added feature of a song for every day is added at the end of the page, alongside the large chunk of scripture and extensive topical thought. There’s just shy of 90 days worth of devotional material in here, and all of it is immensely stimulating and helpful for worship, even if you don’t agree with every single one (I could imagine some wouldn’t agree with David on the extent to which we can hear God and be led by him audibly speaking outside scripture, our conscience and creation).
Regardless whether you call it pilgrimage or not, walking such paths deserve our engagement as evangelicals, partly because so many of us undervalue how much experience shapes us, partly because (as Desi Maxwell recently highlighted at a travel symposium I spoke at) the Bible is such an outdoors book, and partly because we go walking anyway, so why not make it as intentional as this author is? David will surprise you and warm your heart whatever background you come from.
I’ve already ordered a few extra copies and sent them off across the globe to folks who love to pilgrimage and walk in this way, as its an excellent resource, regardless of whether you’re mulling over what is spiritually real for the first time, or whether you’re a seasoned Christian used to rich theology. You can order them from David directly at firstname.lastname@example.org