Walking Each Other Home

God speaks to each of us as he makes us, / then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear: / You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me. / Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final. / Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life. / You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
—Rainer Maria Rilke, from Book of Hours, I 59

The Season of Pentecost stretches from the Sunday we celebrate the day of Pentecost—or the birthday of the Church when the Holy Spirit filled the people and led them in amazing new directions—all the way until Advent—when the Church’s liturgical year begins again. The long Pentecost Season is one of growth and development; it is an opportunity for all members of the Church to consider again (or for the first time) what it means to live out our faith in the world. This year our Pentecost theme is “Walking Each Other Home.” What does that phrase evoke for you? What does it look like? What does it feel like? What might it mean from a faith perspective?

“Walking Each Other Home” reminds me of Rilke’s poem (above). No matter how clouded, no matter how lost, I am not alone. I am safe. This poem gives me courage, allows me to trust, even when I might be tempted to run and hide. It reminds me to breathe and to continue to put one foot in front of the other. It encourages me to open myself up to the accompaniment of another, even when I am afraid of being hurt or disappointed. It inspires me to try again, to put my best self forward, to go to the limits of my longing—knowing that even if things don’t work out like I hope, I have been authentic and vulnerable to God’s calling in my life.

How is God calling you? What are the limits of your longing? What beauty and terror have you encountered? How might Walking Each Other Home teach you something about life and faith and yourself and your world?

See you in church,