Posts Tagged ‘tomb of Jesus’

Son time

One of the greatest parts of this journey has been having my son, Caleb, along.  He could’ve done a lot of other, safer, usual things with his spring break week. Instead, he chose to come with me to Ramallah to visit the church here, and to see some of the many Holy Land sites. I have to say, Caleb, has been one of the best travelers on a mission journey I’ve seen. He has engaged himself in each moment. He has eaten all the foods put before hime (okay, what 18 year old doesn’t). He has genuinely related to every person we met. He has taken alone time for reflection. He is draining every last drop of experience from this journey.

Today, we made much of the time. Leaving the hotel in Ramallah by 7:30, we went to Jerusalem again. We arrived early at the Garden Tomb and were some of the first visitors of the day. With no crowd, we could take time to listen to the tour guide, and let the Good News of the place soak in. Although, one cannot say with certainty the Garden Tomb is the one in which Jesus’ body was laid, the sign on the tomb’s door says certain truth, “He is not here. He is risen!”

Through the Damascus gate, we walked into the Old City of Jerusalem, strolling past opening shops as the morning hustle and bustle began. Making our way through the different quarters of the city (Christian, Jewish, Moslem), I noticed how the “people on the ground” coexisted, not conflicted with one another. Again, we were early to arrive at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  With no line to speak of, we entered the tiny “chapel”, remembering once again, the tomb of Jesus’ no matter how ornate man could make of the spot, is empty. Praise God! Examining the rest of the church, I was once again struck by its evident beauty and craftsmanship.  Even so, this church is filled with different church traditions (catholic, anglican, protestant, orthodox) who regularly compete with one another. They can’t agree on who should lock the door, so a Palestinian family is in charge of the keys.

Soon after, we arrived at the Wailing/Western Wall, seeing the ancient foundation stones and those drawn to their touch. I rejoiced in the fact of Jesus’ words that He is the temple, and no other need be built by human hands. His presence is in those who follow Yeshua of Nazareth, not a few acres of rock.

After dropping off the Jacksons at the Tel Aviv airport (BTW they arrived at their destination safely) we went exploring with Michael Kakish. One of the great exploration areas was the Elah Valley, mostly known as the location where David slew Goliath. Yes, we picked up five smooth stones from the creek bed, and thought of the “giants” we face.

The evening was spent at the Home of New Life visiting with the boys there and playing soccer (football) with them. Of course, they’re good.

Tomorrow we travel through Samaria, and will see Jacob’s Well at Shechem. In the evening we will worship with the church in Ramla (near Tel Aviv) and encourage this dynamic congregation that is reaching out in extraordinary ways in their community.

Wednesday we will be traveling home, so I’m not certain I’ll be able to post. That said, thank you for reading this blog and praying for our journey. It has been a time of bonding for those who came together and a time of encouraging the church in the Holy Land. It has definitely been worth the time in preparation and prayer, and yes the jet-lag. It has been worth the time spent learning more about the times and places when the Son of God walked the earth. It has certainly been worth the unforgettable time spent with my son.

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