Friday, December 5, 2008

Reflections from the Holy Land

There are churches everywhere in the Holy Land. If a person wants to take the ultimate church building tour head to Israel. There is literally a church over almost every holy site. Sometimes these churches are owned by one denomination sometimes they are owned by more that one denomination. Needless to say there is regular arguments about whose site is more holy, more authentic etc... This is one of the tragedies of the Holy Land. Many of these arguments are amongst Chrsitians..

Some places however do not have churches on them such as the Sea of Galilee. We sailed the sea (which is really a large lake) and it was awesome to know that we were on the same body of water that Jesus walked, stilled the storm and called his disciples. There is something prfoundly real about seeing the places that I had read about my entire life. It brings a certain authenticity to the stories. They are more like accounts than stories. Stories may or may not be true but an account is the telling of fact. It brought these accounts to life and it brings a certain wholeness to my life that I didn't expect. The emotional impact of the trip really surprised me. I know it would be cool but I didn't expect it to be as profound as it was.

One of the sites that is a must see is the pool of Bethesda. We read in John 5 of how Jesus healed an invalid who had been there for 38 years. The awesome things about this site is that the church is next to it and you can see the actual pool just as it is described in the Bible. Totally awesome. We saw the place where Jesus healed a man and we talked about healing in our own lives while we were there. It was really cool to pray there and to be in a place where our Lord was. As I reread the scripture now it brings it to life and increases my faith in Jesus. It brings me a greater sense of love, wonder and awe for this man who is the Son of Man and Son of God. It makes the scriptures come alive like they never have before. Praise be to Christ!!

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