Thoughts for the Day

Tuesday, 27th June 2023: The pilgrimage

God our Father Christian Pilgrim Psalm 15

Reading : Verses from Psalm 15

* Picture shows Christian from Pilgrim's Progress.


O Lord, who may abide in your tent?
Who may dwell on your holy hill?

Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,
and speak the truth from their heart;
who do not slander with their tongue,
and do no evil to their friends,
nor take up a reproach against their neighbours;
in whose eyes the wicked are despised,
but who honour those who fear the Lord;
who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
who do not lend money at interest,
and do not take a bribe against the innocent.

Those who do these things shall never be moved.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Have you ever been on a pilgrimage? Some, like the Camino de Santiago, known in English as the Way of St James, are famous and people come from all over the world to Spain to experience part or all of the walk. It attracts Christians and non-Christians, and those who want to explore their faith with others. The network of pilgrims' ways lead to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in north-west Spain. Perhaps the most important thing though about a pilgrimage is what we learn about ourselves as we meet and mix with other pilgrims and ultimately with God.

Psalm 15 has an element of pilgrimage, it appears to have been written in a question and answer form, that was perhaps a model of the kind of questions that those seeking an entrance to a shrine might have been asked in the ancient world before the worshipper was admitted. We might have expected there to be a list of ritual requirements, but strikingly the psalm lists a series of questions about the person's conscience. We can see how this relates to the Beatitude (Matthew 5.2-12) and on the 'pure of heart'.

The idea of a tent conjures us safety and welcome, and the holy hill as the Temple in Jerusalem. But this is not just a pilgrim's journey to a shrine that we then leave to go home, this is a question about who will be welcomed to stay with God for ever. The answer is someone who is true and honourable, who is trustworthy and whose allegiance to God is undisputed.


Heavenly Father,
our life is a pilgrimage -
a journey to discover the truth
about ourself,
as we meet and discover others.
It is a journey with an end in sight,
where You will welcome pilgrims
into Your Kingdom.
Let us never forget that even though
we sometimes take the wrong path
this can be corrected when we confess
our mistakes to You.
Keep us ever travelling forward.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to find out more about the Camino de Santiago:

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