We enjoyed another beautiful sunrise over New Jerusalem while eating breakfast at the Shalom Hotel. We observed the Jewish people around us during breakfast. As one observes the Jewish people in Israel, we share Paul’s burden of loving a people with such a great zeal, yet such stubbornness, unbelief, hardness of heart, and in a lost and unsaved state.
We entered Jerusalem today through the Jaffa Gate, just to browse. We passed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This church, as far as the Catholics are concerned, is where Jesus was crucified.
One proprieter in a shop was surprised I had only one wife – he had four wives. Wives are still bought for camels.
We went into a memorial for the Jewish independence in 1948, called the “War of Independence Memorial.” Then we entered the old synagogue of the Jews, the Hurva Synagogue.
Once again we passed the Byzantine Cardo (ancient Roman shop area). Pictures were taken of the folks in our group at this locale. (Pastor Grimes, James Taylor, Dawn Presti, and Jo Anne Abbott). We went back to our hotel early in order to rest, and to pack for our long journey home.
Today, Lord willing, we will proceed over the Israeli/Jordan border, catch our Royal Jordanian flight from Amman, Jordan to New York, and drive home to Stafford, Virginia.
We rode along “the old Roman road” to the border. This was the most beautiful ride of the trip, and naturally, my camera is packed away. We stopped above a Greek Orthodox Church, surrounded by DEEP canyons. Wooden crosses were seen everywhere. There was an aqueduct, and a cement path, and dirt paths. We passed another of Herod’s palaces, his winter palace in Jericho. Our road was narrow as we drove along the canyon called the Wadi Kelt. If we veered off the road just a little bit, we would have plunged to our certain death. We came to Jericho and saw a very rare occurrence indeed – rain! We crossed the Allenby Bridge into Jordan under the usual intense scrutiny. On the flight home, I sat next to a Lebanese American who was a Christian and we had a good conversation. We had a refueling stop once again in Amsterdam, Holland. On our stop in Amsterdam it was dark and stormy. Once above the clouds though, we found daylight. And likewise in our spiritual lives. To the lost, life is dark and stormy and full of uncertainty after death. But once we come to terms with Jesus Christ, we live in the sunshine, above our circumstances, with no fear of death – we even look forward to it. Our journey came to an end. It was like “a little taste of heaven.” Until we really arrive in heaven though, all good things must come to an end.
Shalom, Pastor Steve