“Pilgrim’s Progress” – A United Church of Christ StillSpeaking Daily Devotional by The Rev. Kaji Douŝa

May 6th,2024 Categories: Latest News

“Let us go and ascend the mountain of the Holy One of Sinai, to the home of the God of Jacob [of the line of Rebekah]; that God may teach us God’s ways and that we may walk in God’s paths.” – Isaiah 2:3 (Year A)

When we returned to in-person worship after being shut down for the pandemic, I experienced a spiritual crisis. Church didn’t feel like it used to. I was disappointed in myself and, quite frankly, with God.

Then I remembered: We get ourselves into trouble when we expect God to show up in the same way all the time. San Juan de la Cruz is emphatic about this; he describes that thinking as young faith, immature. And I fall victim to that immaturity all the time.

A faith that matures is a pilgrimage.

We come to church to join each other in that journey, to look to the left or the right and see another pilgrim in our midst. Every pilgrim has a gift to share. Every pilgrim is a treasure.

We want the mountaintop experience because we want to feel the holiness. We want to encounter God reliably, in a way that’s guaranteed. Baby faith tries to tell God what to do, when and how to show up. But the prophet wants to guide us differently.

We don’t need to climb a specific mountain to encounter God. In fact, quite the opposite. Instead, God casts out from the mountaintop. Our pilgrimage is to receive that teaching just as God sends it.



Thy will be done, O God. Show me that will and let me walk in your ways. Amen.


Discussion Questions 

  1. How was your experience of in-person worship after the days of pandemic quarantine? Was it a comforting return to the familiar, or did it feel new and different? 
  1. When have you been surprised by God showing up in new ways through church? 
  1. What examples do you have of your faith maturing throughout your spiritual pilgrimage? 

The “StillSpeaking Daily Devotional” series is produced by The United Church of Christ.