|From Spiritual to Holy
I am fumbling to even begin to describe what we have seen and experienced in the past week, well two weeks actually.
There is no question that this trip was built around a series of sites and events that are decidedly spiritual.
It started in Egypt with the prayer conference for the Middle East, then on to a variety of sites there, many of which had Biblical roots.
When we got to Tel Aviv we were surprised and blessed to have a room overlooking the beach. We took the opportunity to just chill for a couple of days which included a leisurely, albeit long, walk to Jaffa. This is where Jonah tried to dodge God and got on the boat to escape, and where Peter was given the vision about all animals being clean to eat, thus opening the door for the gospel to be preached to the gentiles.
We had an opportunity to go to the Convent at Emmaus, the road to which two men met the newly risen Jesus. We read standing in the Valley of Elah from 1 Samuel 17 about how the Philistine giant taunted the Israelites and a too-young shepherd named David thumped him with a stone from a creek.
We once again had a chance to spend time meditating in the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, and yes the Tomb is still empty.
We were blessed to read about Palm Sunday while walking from the Mount of Olives to The Garden of Gethsemane ON Palm Sunday.
Praying at the Western Wall, spending time in The City of David, even wondering on the Via Delarosa, the route Jesus carried the cross on, were all on our itinerary.
Finally we had an opportunity to share a Passover Seder meal with an explanation of how each of the elements of the meal point to what God has done and how Jesus is the fulfillment of these Ancient of Days promises.
I was struck how almost all of these experiences were spiritual in nature but for Cynthia and I some of them transcended from spiritual to Holy; standing in Goshen peering out into the wilderness where the Israelites fled from the Egyptians, standing in the creek bed where David selected his 5 stones, seeing the empty tomb during Holy Week all made that jump for us from spiritual to Holy.
When we landed in Toronto after 10 hours in the air we learned that my sister had succumbed to cancer. As I deal with all of the emotions that surround loosing a sibling it occurs to me that Nita has made the ultimate transcendence from spiritual to Holy. She is now dancing on streets of gold (quite the deal for a jeweler!) and sitting at the feet of the one who left the grave for all of us.
There is no Easter feast on earth that will compare to the one she will be sharing with the risen Messiah this week.
Thank you for joining us on this trip, thank you for sharing our joys and our sorrows with us.
Have a blessed Easter and know that the tomb is EMPTY! I saw it.
It was a REALLY long walk to Jaffa
Just a stones throw from the ultimate headache in the Elah Valley