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Grace in Pilgrimage Notes

Pilgrimage

Life is a pilgrimage.

A pilgrimage is a journey, often a long* one, made to some sacred place**, as an process of devotion††.

*As Christians our whole life can be considered a pilgrimage.
**Ultimately, our destiny is Heaven.
†As disciples, this is a continuous growth process.
††Through faith we follow God’s commandments and decrees.

Pilgrim’s Progress

The Pilgrim’s Progress written by John Bunyan in 1678 (with part 2 coming in 1684). This wonderful book it is second only to the Bible itself for popularity, and is still in print to this day. It can be read on the Internet at Gutenberg. In addition, one may listen to the audio reading which can be found online at Librivox.  Information and links here.

Grace

Grace is undeserved mercy from God and divine empowerment from God.  God give his grace to believers.

Bishop Will Willimon describes grace as “the power of God working in you to give you a transformed life.”

Grace as a gift from God, the undeserved, unmerited, and loving action of God in human existence through the ever-present Holy Spirit.

5 Solas

Sola (in Latin) means alone. The 5 Solae of Protestantism are five foundational Biblical principles upon which our (Protestant) beliefs and salvation are based. More information here.

John Wesley’s Means of Grace

In Methodism (founded by John Wesley), the means of grace are ways in which God works invisibly in disciples, quickening, strengthening and confirming faith. So, believers use them to open their hearts and lives to God’s work in them. According to John Wesley the means of grace can be divided into two broad categories, with individual and communal components. For each, there are works of Piety and works of Mercy. More here and here.

Sharing God’s Grace

God’s grace works inside us transforming and growing us. Furthermore, we are to share God’s grace with others at a

  • “Macro” level –  good deeds.Phil 2: 3-5
  • “Micro”/individual level – we need to adapt an honoring mindset on a minute-by-minute basis.

Phil 2:3-5 In humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.

Joseph King of Dreams Scenes

Joseph, from the book of Genesis, gets grace in pilgrimage (forgiveness for being pompous and self-centered and divine empowerment to have many abilities) and shares grace in pilgrimage (at the macro level by being a helpful servant and at the micro level at the *prison door).

*My favorite scene from Joseph King of Dreams (movie) is when Potiphar comes to the prison door to get Joseph out of prison, so that he can interpret Pharaoh’s dream. When Potiphar starts to apologize for his wicked wife, Joseph’s response is, “I understand, let’s go.” Those are wonderful words. This is great example of sharing grace in pilgrimage at the micro level.

I understand, let’s go.

Just prior to this scene, Joseph is left alone in the prison (after interpreting the dreams of two fellow prisoners) and he is reflecting on his life. The song You Know Better Than I is played as he reflects on his life.  It is, in fact, a turning point in Joseph’s life. The scene with Potiphar at the prison door follows.