Over the past two weeks our group has actively participated in an intense two-week study program through Jerusalem University College (JUC). We’ve traveled by foot or bus exploring all of the land. Every site, whether laden with a few large archaeological remains of an aTell from the 8th century D.C.E. or jumping off the bus to look at the expanse of wilderness that resembles ‘peace fuzz’, our group has begun to grasp an understanding of the way in which the land and history our connected. Not only have my eyes been open to new fun facts, understanding land and history enlightens scripture. For time purposes and convenience here is a list of some of the sites we’ve visited:
The ‘Wailing’ Wall, City of David, Holy Sepulcher, Temple Mount, Mesada, The Jezreel Valley, Sea of Galilee, Dead Sea, Garden of Gethsemane…And the list continues…
Although words are extremely powerful and life changing, no words can describe the beauty of this land nor the thoughts and insights that are beginning to stir. Most of us, at some point, come to an understanding that God cannot be confined to neat box.
After reading scripture, walking around sites that historically embody some great Biblical battle in which God’s hand was at work, you can’t help but wonder- God…are you fire or fury- are you sacred or beautiful? To this, all I can say is that I’ve connected greatly with those who made pilgrimages to the Temple Mount prior to its destruction in 70 A.D.- once reaching one’s destination one’s physical journey has come to an end, yet one’s spiritual journey has just begun.
As I’ve woken up early, and on the few mornings when we’ve been given free time I’ve found my way to the coffee shop, either by myself or with friends, trying to grow some strong roots and establish firm conclusions on these thoughts that seem to be constantly stirring in the fuzz that is my mind. I can say for sure that God has kept my eyes open. As I’ve wrestled with understanding the division between Judaism and Christianity, I’ve learned that the covenant that Jesus solidified with his death and resurrection is etched on each of our hearts. This covenant is to love others and even love our enemies. (Remember that your actions show where your heart is.)
Well…on a more lighter random note… When you swim in the Dead Sea (if you ever get the opportunity) remember to keep your eyes closed, and it’s true- you float! This upcoming week on free travel I’ll have the opportunity to swim where Jesus walked! Climbing along the edge of cliffs where the Israel wildlife authority has had to put iron hand grips into the rock to prevent falling is fun…don’t worry mom and dad! Walking amongst the wildflowers on the hill where it is believed Jesus preached the Beatitudes is indescribable. The number of laughs with great friends is innumerable….
I hope each one of YOU are having some fun adventures as well!
In just a few short hours I will officially be leaving JUC and embark on a week-long adventure with three other girls for ‘spring break’. Our plan is spend a few nights in a cabin along the Sea of Galilee then head to Eliat where we will meet up with some other EMU’ers!
I guess that is all for now.