All posts in Travel

  • Kyrie Eleison

    Kyrie Eleison
    Brian Zahnd

    Six months ago I walked across Spain. Five hundred miles.
    Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
    Forty days and forty nights.
    A full life with two full moons. Harvest and Hunter’s.
    Heat and cold. Dust and rain. Wind and calm.
    It was all there.
    Beauty and blisters.
    Ecstasy and exhaustion.
    Pleasures and pains.
    Mountains, forests, and plains.
    Spaniards and Germans.
    Americans and Russians.
    Brazilians and Peruvians.
    Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese.
    They were all there.
    I was all there.
    Every step of the way.
    A million, three hundred thousand — give or take a few.

    I saw my life. The Camino was my life. My life compressed to forty days and forty nights.
    A five hundred mile walk of life. A precise (or at least an approximate) reflection.
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  • What Does This Mean? (Five Hundred Miles of Crucifixes)

    What Does This Mean? (Five Hundred Miles of Crucifixes)
    Brian Zahnd

    Six months ago Peri and I walked five hundred miles across Spain on the Camino de Santiago. It was quite simply the most wonderful, most spiritual, most healing thing we’ve ever done. The Camino changed both of us. This morning as I prayed I thanked God in tears for the gift of the Camino. Until today I’ve not written about it, mostly because I’m still absorbing it. But Holy Week seems like the right time to share one aspect of my experience.

    We began the Camino on September 14, 2016 ( Holy Cross Day). After a long trek across the Pyrenees mountains from St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France we arrived in Roncesvalles, Spain. In Roncesvalles I spent some time alone in a thirteenth century chapel gazing on a medieval crucifix. While sitting in this dimly lit sanctuary the Holy Spirit seemed to give me four instructions for my five hundred mile walk:
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  • A Sabbatical Walk to Santiago


    A Sabbatical Walk to Santiago
    Brian Zahnd

    I’ve been a pastor for 35 years. One church. Nonstop. I’ve written 3,270 sermons. In the past seven years I’ve written six books. I’ve never been away from my church for two consecutive Sundays except during some international ministry trips. I’ve never gone two Sundays without preaching somewhere…ever.

    Now it’s time for a sabbatical. I’m going to be gone for seven Sundays. No sermon preparation, no preaching, no writing, no counseling. It will be a time of reflection, a time of prayer, and a time of walking.

    Walking, walking, walking…

    Peri and I are going on a 500 mile walk.
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  • Thinking Tikkun Olam in Istanbul


    I’m sitting on a rooftop in Istanbul. I’m thinking. Thinking about the world. Thinking about Jesus. I’m thinking about Jesus as the savior of the world and the Jewish concept of tikkun olam (“to mend the world”).

    The world is broken.
    It needs mending.
    Jesus is the answer.
    Jesus is the savior.
    Jesus is the savior of the world.

    This is the confession of the gospel.
    This is the witness of the apostles and prophets.
    Consistently, repeatedly, scripturally, evangelistically, apostolically.
    Jesus is the savior of the world!
    Liberate it from cliché and dare to conceive it in a real and radical way.
    Believe it in a fresh, invigorating, imaginative way.
    This world!
    (And not some other.)

    OK, but what shall we do with this apostolic faith in Jesus as the savior of the world? Read more

  • The Crosses of Jerusalem

    Peri and I are in Jerusalem. Today as we walked about the Old City crosses caught my eye. The cross is forever linked with Jerusalem. Allow me to share a few pictures of the crosses of Jerusalem.


    Three Crosses on the Via Dolorosa
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  • Saint Francis of Assisi

    Peri and I are on our way to Israel. Since Tuesday we’ve been in Rome. Yesterday we took a train to Assisi to explore the world of an Italian prophet from the 13th century. Over the past year or so I’ve become fascinated by Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226). I’ve read five biographies and listened to one lecture series on Francis. His conversion, his life, his impact upon society are profoundly inspirational. So we went to Assisi.
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  • Atheism

    Warning: Long Blog (take your time).

    I’m in Sydney, Australia. I’ve been ministering at Hillsong Church. I preached six times this weekend and I felt like things went very well. I also had a wonderful time getting to know Paul Scanlon, Pastor of Abundant Life Church in Bradford, England, Gary Clark, pastor of Hillsong London, Zhenya Kasevich, pastor of Hillsong Kiev and Brendan White, pastor of Hillsong Paris along with many other leaders in the Hillsong movement. It really was a precious time of fellowship and forging new relationships.

    So I don’t know why I felt a little sad today. I thought perhaps I was just ready to come home.
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  • The Idiot

    Peri and I are in Paris.

    Today we made our regular pilgrimage to Shakespeare & Company–
    the famous English bookstore across the Seine from Notre Dame.

    I bought The Doctrine of Reconciliation by Karl Barth.

    But that’s not the interesting part.
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  • Mountain Misery

    My feet hurt
    My head pounds
    My lungs burn
    My legs buckle
    I’m cold…now hot…now cold

    Why do I do this?
    Man! Can I do this?
    The sky looks wrong
    Was that thunder?
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