Never the Same
Some Psalms of Thanksgiving and Praise as we Depart the Holy Land:
Psalms 118, 111, 100, 93, 148
When Jesus ascended to heaven after his resurrection, the disciples were assured that he “will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). While we return to our homeland in the same manner by which we traveled to the Holy Land, we do not return the same. Our lives have been indelibly stamped with a new impression.
Our prayer through all of our preparations for this pilgrimage and through our actual journeys in the land has been that God will use this experience for making us the disciples of Jesus Christ that God has called us to be. By God’s grace and through God’s power, the future our Lord envisions for his people on this earth is a future that includes a complete transformation of society.
The righteousness of God’s people will contribute to the changing of the world. This righteousness comes from Christ (it is his gift by grace through faith), and it will bring about a peace in and for the community of faith that will witness to the world. Isaiah puts it this way (32:17):
“The effect of righteousness will be peace,
and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.”
As you have walked where Jesus walked and have experienced places where God has been so powerfully at work in history, Scripture will never read the same again for you. May the riches of its testimony stay forever with you, and may the righteousness that God strengthens in you through it serve him in transforming the world around you.