My First Excursion in The Holy Land
My mother, a quiet and humble lady, visited the Holy Land decades ago. Now that she has gone on, I feel a deep connection with her spiritual journey as I explore the very path of Jesus myself this week. Our church group has come on this trip with reverence and a spirit of adventure. The young and the young hearted have marveled at the baptismal site of Qasr el Yehud, where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. The experience took on a personal meaning when our pastors sprinkled us and encouraged us to remember our own baptisms. We traveled to Jericho and visited the ruins of the ancient city conquered by Joshua after gathering for lunch at an authentic spread of Mediterranean style cuisine. In the distance we could see the traditional site of the Temptation of Jesus as noted in Matthew 4:1-11.
We were excited to head to Qumran, the site of the Dead Sea Scroll discovery that was only uncovered a few years ago. What a fabulous chance to see how the scrolls were hidden and found to be an exact match of the Biblical account we have the privilege of reading anytime at home.
The best memory of the day came at the end. We went for a swim – yes, a swim in the mineral-laden waters of the Dead Sea. A few of us are pretty certain we appear a decade younger, and our friends won’t event recognize us when we get home. Either way, I have to say I absolutely loved the chance to float around in the very waters I’ve read about since a child.
Seeing the authentic presence of places and artifacts, while understanding the geography of Israel has been a life changer for me. I’m thrilled I’ve been able to tag along with such a fabulous group of believers and celebrate our faith right here where it all took place. If you have an opportunity to strike out on a trip to get up close with the original sources of your spiritual life, don’t hesitate. I encourage you to take your own journey your way as soon as you can.