A book I was reading today made the helpful distinction between a theology of place and a theology of journey. Those who approach faith from the perspective of place are powerfully shaped by geography, whether that is a particular tract of land, a sanctuary, or an affinity for the outdoors. Those who approach faith as a journey see how each event in their lives has led them to where they are now. I’d add that there is also a theology of community, in which our faith is deeply connected to how we see our lives as interwoven with others.’

None of these approaches is right or wrong. I suspect that each has presented challenges during Covid-19. If for you church is the sanctuary, it might feel hard to connect with God right now. If faith is about the journey for you, you might be having trouble making sense of where we find ourselves. If worship is being with others, isolating from most people has probably been spiritually painful.

Each of these approaches has something to offer, though, and now might be the time to try on a new way of understanding God. I encourage you to reflect on what each of these theologies might offer. How might I live grateful for the ways I have been formed by place and space? How has God accompanied me on my path, and how is God still walking alongside? In what ways have I realized more than ever how we all belong to each other?

Reflection can draw hard-won understanding and deepen our relationship with God in even the most difficult circumstances.


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