Living as a Pilgrim not a Settler

by Bethany

Today’s Readings: Leviticus 24-25


It is hard to live as a pilgrim when you have a lot of stuff. Not only is it difficult to carry everything, it is also hard to avoid the temptation to settle down and get comfortable. Yet, most of us spend our time buying clothes, furniture, electronics and cocktails, without a thought about our calling to live as “foreigners and strangers” [1] on this earth.


To fulfill His promise, God gave land to His people. Although they could farm it and use its produce however they wanted, they were to observe a Sabbath Year every seventh year and a Year of Jubilee every fiftieth year. During those years, they were not permitted to sow or reap the land. Nevertheless, He would care for them: “You may ask, ‘What will we eat in the seventh year if we do not plant or harvest our crops?’ I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years” [2]. As they observed these years of rest, they were to set their sights on a permanent rest that remained [3]. No matter how many earthly blessings He had given them, He wanted them to know that this was not their home and they were not to trust in its temporary provisions.


Regarding pilgrim mentality, Jonathan Edwards wrote, “This world is not our abiding place … It was never designed by God that this world should be our home … If we spend our lives in the pursuit of a temporal happiness; as riches or sensual pleasures; credit and esteem from men; delight in our children … All these things will be of little significancy to us. Death will blow up all our hopes, and will put an end to these enjoyments” [4]. Rather, he argued, “The future was designed to be our settled and everlasting abode … Our state in the future world, therefore, being eternal, is of so much greater importance than our state here, that all our concerns in this world should be wholly subordinated to it” [5].


Lord, We confess that, although we long to be in Your presence, our lives and pocketbooks rarely are changed by that longing. Show us how to accumulate heavenly treasures, as we joyfully give to others and lightly hold our tenancies [6]. Give us firm understandings of our heavenly citizenships so that we have courage to live as pilgrims. Amen.


[1] Leviticus 24:23 NIV 2011. See also 1 Peter 2:11; Hebrews 11:13-14; Matthew 6:19; Mark 10:21; Luke 6:20; Luke 14:33; Luke 18:25; Luke 12:15 (“life does not consist in an abundance of possessions”); Matthew 6:33 (“seek first his kingdom and righteousness”); Luke 12:33 (“a treasure in heaven that will not wear out”); Luke 19:8-9; Matthew 13:44; Luke 21:1; Luke 12:20-21; Luke 9:58 (“the Son of Man has no place to lay his head”); Romans 12:1-2 (“do not conform to the pattern of this world”); John 17:15-16. See also Randy Alcorn, The Treasure Principle, Multnomah Press, 2001, p. 8 (noting that fifteen percent of everything Christ said related to money and possessions).  |  [2] It had to be three years because, if they did not sow or reap, they had to have three years for the cycle.  |  [3] See Hebrews 11:10 NIV 2011 (“For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”)  |  [4] Jonathan Edwards, The Christian Pilgrim.  |  [5] Id.  |  [6] Since God is owner over everything, we are tenants, not owners. We are only owners in relation to one another. In relation to Him, we are tenants. See The Parable of the Tenants, Matthew 21:33-41.

One Comment to “Living as a Pilgrim not a Settler”

  1. by Annaji. Oh ! What a great revelation of the tnaiitdoral Bhartiya way of Life. e2€œPerfect behavior, pure wisdom, untainted life, Sacrificee2€a6.e2€9d Do we agree with Anna really?Corruption rests in Mind of people and spreads in Rules, Finance, Society, System and overall. Communalism is another form of corrupted mind-set. We have to uproot this corruption from our mind from everybody. A common man to politician. From a businessman to a home tutor. We have to take an oath to save our country from corruption. Only bringing the stashed money from Swiss Bank will end the corruption? No. Enactment of the Jan Lokpal Bill will end up corruptions? No. But, all these are the certain powerful tools to set strong machinery against Corruption. But unless and until the Human resources are free from corruption, nothing shall be happened.Thinking envious to the neighbors will make us corrupt, not discharging the stipulated responsibilities in time makes a vicious circle of corruption and bribes, debauchery in life tends a corrupted life, the sprawling subversiveness survives in corruption, Political ambitions without the prosperity of the people makes us completely e2€œCorruptede2€9d and my corruption and your corruption made this Nation, easy to say as e2€œCorruptede2€9d. Yes, this is the time to say no to e2€œCorruptione2€9d. Anna started to set a e2€œCorruptione2€9d free India. We have to follow it hermetically.Certainly the most significant feature of this Anti-Corruption Movement is to bring the mass from all strata of life, all beliefs, all rights group and different organisations across the country even touches the hearts of millions of Indians dwell out side India. The whole country saw the fervor of the growing sentiment in favor of Nationalism and against the political corrupts, bankrupt bureaucrats and the media moles in the system. And after all, the reluctant and repulsive Govt crowned with corruptions bent to the protesting populace demanding a strong law enforcement against Corruption with the direct representation o the Republic of India. Now such a necessary law is possible. That may be a nightmare of the corrupted politicians, bureaucrats, media moles, NGOists. But we have to draw the dream lines of the Corruption Free India for which millions of youngsters and the youths marched these days with the older generations even.Yes, only Anna can do this. Perhaps, He is the uncrowned King of India. All responded him to join the cause. The Bharat Swabhiman Trust, Art of Living, ABVP, RSS all joined with another thousands for this great cause. We saw Swami Ramdev and Ram Madhav in a frame. We saw Medha Patker and Anupam Kher side by side. The Buddhist monks and the Jain Munis were on the stage, at the same time Farah Khan could not resist her to reach Jantar Mantar, keeping aside her busy schedule of Bollywood. Hindus worshiped and offered e2€˜aahutie2€™ in Mass Yanga (fire rituals) in the street, while Muslims and Christians prayed for the success of Annae2€™s fast at Jantar Mantar. The whole India were with Anna these days and must remain with him. The feelings are My India, My Bharat e2€“ against inconsistency of the system so far, against big beefed e2€˜bhastrachare2€™ (corruption) in India. Anna surfaced the potential Oneness of India. Ekatma Bharat. And not detracting and rejecting any thing for the good of this Republic, Anna solicited the strength from Vivekananda to Gandhi, Laxmibai to Bhagat Singh-Chandrasekhar Azad, from Dayananda to Rammonhar Lohia. Anna symbolized him as a modern saint of India with a tnaiitdoral vision and values. Annae2€™s scientific approach for the rural reconstruction in Ralegan Siddhi with preserving all the Indian values and ethics may serve as a role model in every aspirant rural corners of India too. Now a modern India can stand up with its own identity along with rationality and modernity.I am still in the rhythms of little school girls who were shouting very enthusiastically in the street rally after Anna broke his fast in the fifth day e2€“ e2€˜Ek do tin char, dur karenge bhastrachare2€™ , e2€˜hamara neta kaisa ho, Anna Hazare Jaisa Hoe2€™e2€a6. I was also clapping and shouting in the same way.Bande Mataram, Bharat Mata ki Jai. Jai Hind.

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