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Explain why some Christians go on pilgrimage and the effect that this might have on them.

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Introduction

AO2 Explain why some Christians go on pilgrimage and the effect that this might have on them. Many Christians from very different traditions undertake pilgrimage for a variety of reasons. In the Middle Ages a pilgrimage was a common way of making amends for sins or expressing repentance. Nowadays it may also be undertaken as a means of refreshing one's faith, in a search for physical healing, or simply for enjoyment. Pilgrimages are an important part of Christian devotion, and the blessings gained on these journeys can certainly have a positive impact on the pilgrim. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is truly human and truly divine. They say that he is the Son of Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. The teaching that Jesus was born of a virgin mother is important to the claim that he is the Son of God, which accounts for the importance of making a pilgrimage to Jesus' birth place, The Holy Land. From their earliest understanding of their faith this is where it all began. Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Jerusalem - are all familiar in their imagination - finally becoming a reality. ...read more.

Middle

They go on pilgrimage to pray for themselves and possibly for others who are ill or for friends or relatives who do not believe in God. Jesus told His disciples that they should be persistent in respect of praying: 'And so I say to you: ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.' Luke 11:9. Some Christians also go on pilgrimage to 'pay back' God for answering their prayers. The Gospel accounts of the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus are very detailed and the fact that Jesus really died on the cross is of great importance to the Christian faith. As Saint Paul pointed out, the resurrection of Jesus on the third day after His burial is the heart of the Christian faith: 'If Christ did not rise, our faith is vain.' By rising from the dead, Jesus overcame the power of death and he gave promise of eternal life to all. A pilgrimage to the places where Jesus was crucified, died and rose again from the dead would certainly help Christians to retrace Jesus' journey from the ultimate sacrifice to the ultimate glory ...read more.

Conclusion

Acts 2:44-47. Pilgrimages can have a dramatic effect on the lives of Christians, who go on pilgrimage and come back refreshed, feeling closer to God and ready to preach His word to other people. A group of people going on pilgrimage together can also benefit collectively by getting to know each other due to their common belief in God. New friends can also be made from other countries, particularly if the place of pilgrimage is somewhere like The Holy Land, visited by pilgrims from all over the world. Getting to know the Christian Church in other parts of the world in this way can help Christians to understand God better from a much greater diversity. Pilgrims returning from a sacred place may feel emotionally healed and, seeing all the poor children with disabilities, in Lourdes for example, may make them realise how lucky they are and begin to appreciate their own gifts given by God. They may also be inspired by walking in the footsteps of Christ which, hopefully, can help them to rediscover what is truly present in their hearts. ...read more.

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