Up, Down, and Over

Another gorgeous, sunny morning awaited us in Bethlehem as we prepared to pull away.
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Up to Jerusalem!
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The Western Wall and Temple Mount were our first stop, where we prayed and placed petitions in the Wall after ascending the Temple platform itself.
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While the Temple Mount is now an Islamic site and we cannot openly worship, pray, or read the Scriptures up there, we can remember that Jesus taught us that the place is not what matters most. Instead, God most desires worship in spirit and in truth (John 4). The Temple must surely have been impressive, and one gets that sense even just walking around the enormous platform. But it was only a template, an echo of the heavenly, that teaches us about the holy and reminds us that ultimately God’s presence can never be confined (Hebrews 8).
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Down to the Coast
Caesarea Maritima introduced us to another of Herod’s palaces and great city building projects. The aqueducts that served the city are a great reminder of how no one, regardless of resources, can survive without the basics. Without fresh, “living” water, we will shrivel–both physically and spiritually.

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Over Mount Carmel
At the place where Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, our group read and reflected on the story from 1 Kings 18. Whom will we follow? We sang “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” in answer to this chapter’s challenge.
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The view of the Jezreel Valley is beyond spectacular, and our guide helped us to understand why that valley has been so significant for so many millennia.
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We crossed the Jezreel to Nazareth for the night. We’ll begin bright and early tomorrow, which is national general election day in Israel. Should be interesting to learn more about how the system works.
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Posted on January 21, 2013, in Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Up, Down, and Over.

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