6 April 2013

The land of milk & honey

So I've got a tonne of work to do; report cards lurking around the corner; and a body suffering jet lag that doesn't know if it should be sleeping, eating or working. However, I am in desperate need of an outpouring about our latest venture - and due to it being a long time between blogs - I figure my blogging is justified!

So we have just returned from a journey through the Middle Eastern countries of Jordan and Israel. Together with 25 people, a tour guide, a bible teacher, and a tourist  police officer - we travelled, visited and contemplated the beautiful land of milk and honey, and followed the footsteps of the great Moses; the Israelites he was leading; the quirky John the Baptist; and of course, the earth-walking Jesus.

To say this experience was enjoyable would be the great understatement. It was so much more than that. It has profoundly rearranged the way I think, read and see Jesus and His human-inspired book. Discovering this lands' geography and its’ ancient artifacts acutely deepened my understanding of Jesus and His ministry. To walk in the footsteps of biblical and historical greats - & to see their culture and experience the diversity of this part of the world - was a massive spiritual encouragement.
So I've created a picture book for you below to lead you through some of our musings; but I wanna steal your attention a tad longer with a personal thought -

On this trip, it seemed grammatically appropriate to talk about Jesus in the past tense; and feel almost star-struck by the memorial sights that commemorated His fame and history. I'd honestly catch myself searching and wondering about the physical traces of Jesus - & whether or not His earth-ridden sandals set foot on a particular road or piece of land. But I had this prominent and consistent whisper going on in my head that reminded me that He’s not in the past nor caught in the future. He’s so very alive and well … & He was in this place .... but better than that - He walks with me everyday! You don’t needa go to no holy land to be part of Him. It was a nice lesson to take me home!

Please continue on if you you're interested to see some of our captures and related text.

Mt Nebo is the place where Moses ascended to look into the
Promised Land. You can see why it was called the land
of 'milk and honey'. The lush, green Jordan Valley
(top left corner ) is surrounded by the arid plains of Moab.

Petra has to be seen to be believed.
It is an ancient city that grew to the height
of it's power during the first century
thanks to it's place on ancient trade routes.
Paul came through here many times
both before his ministry years
and also during his ministry years.

Sitting outside John the Baptists 'prison cave'
learning about his ministry and
Herod's evil deeds. 

Sitting on the Mount of Olives, looking across at the
Old City of Jerusalem. Down the base of this hill
is the Garden of Gethsemane in the Kidron Valley.
Up the top of this hill (the direction that Nath is looking)
and over the crest is Bethany where Jesus would
stay when he visited the Old City.
It was home to Lazarus, Mary and Martha.

The western wall was a hive of activity.
Orthodox Jews were fervently reciting
the Torah as it was the week leading
up to the Passover Festival.

Orthodox Jews flooded into the city
for the Passover week.  

This is the pool of Bethesda where Jesus
healed the sick man in John 5.

A reenactment of how they think
Jesus spent His time working in Nazareth.
(in all truth He was probably more a stone mason than
carpenter but that is for another time)

Nazareths' country side - full of mustard
(yellow flowers) and olive trees.

Note that Port Power supporters are not
welcome in the town of Capernaum.
However, Jesus based himself there during
His ministry years. His best mate Peter
also has a house there.

This is the site of the Capernaum Synagogue.
No doubt Jesus spent many a day
teaching on this site.

Looking towards the Sea of Galilee down the
face of the Mt of Beatitudes.

Floating on the Sea of Galilee, looking back to the
shore line that Jesus first found the disciples.
Thinking about the many stories of what happened
on or around this area.

Hey, I'm impressed if you got to this point. Thanks for caring :)


1 comment:

  1. Cool pics guys. Look forward to seeing all the others you didn't put up. Hammer