Back in Jerusalem

I’m on the final piece of my three weeks in the Holy Land. I’ve seen amazing places and reading the Bible will never be the same again. Today we traveled from Nazareth to Ein Kerem and the Church of the Visitation (Luke 1. 26–56). Tomorrow we leave first thing for Bethlehem.

Yesterday my brother and I drove
north and were within easy walking distance of Syria and Lebanon. On my trip south I’d been as close to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. I could clearly see all four countries, but was unable to enter them either because of passport or safety issues.

In the south of Jordan and Israel we saw “camel crossing” signs–and we did indeed see camels frequently. In northeast Israel we saw “tank crossing” signs and “danger–land mine” warnings. Tonight when my brother and I walked to the Holy Sepulchre, an armed soldier stood outside the door. As we have driven away from many communities, the word “peace” in three languages has been written on signs bidding us farewell.

Such is this wildly beautiful place where the Prince of Peace chose to show through his very life what peace that passes understanding looks like in the flesh.

From Psalm 122

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
‘May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls,
and security within your towers.’
For the sake of my relatives and friends
I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’

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