One of the best days yet.
We arrived at Mt. Nebo before opening, and were let in early because our guide had connections. It was still cool and lovely to be there before the crowds.
Mt. Nebo was where God took Moses to see the Promised Land before he died. You’ll recall that Moses was not allowed to enter because of an act of disobedience (Numbers 20).
Though it was hazy, we could still see a panorama of places in Jordan and Israel–places we’d already been and places still to. I was struck that most of us are like Moses–and not only in the disobeying God part. We each have a purpose in life, and none of us arrives to the place we’d hoped to go–this side of heaven. And life is still very good.
We then went to the site on the Jordan River where many think Jesus was baptised. Our walk started at the ruins of an early church built on the spot where it is thought that Elijah was taken into heaven (2 Kings 2).
The most moving part of the day was reading the passage from Luke 3 telling of the baptism of Jesus as we sat in silence near the site honoured as that very place. We ended our time at the Jordan by renewing our baptismal vows, and then being ausperged with water from the Jordan as a blessing was given to each of us by the Dean. We remembered our baptisms and were very thankful.
Traveling from Jordan back to Israel was a complicated process. I am deeply thoughtful about the guns and soldiers and checks and balances to move between these two land neighbours.
It’s good to be back in my room at the college where I can brush my teeth and drink from the tap, have convenient plumbing, and a place to properly do laundry.
As I type this one letter at a time on my iPhone, windows open for the night breeze, the Muslim call to prayer from the Old City fills my room.
I ask God’s blessing on you as you remember your baptism and are thankful. If you’re not baptised–you have a world of joy ahead for you.