Reflections of Israel


Israel, is a land that has been fought over for thousands of years. It is part of Western Asia and is a key strategic location for military and war purposes. Jerusalem is home to 3 world religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam. And being in Israel is experiencing all these cultures and religions at once.

As eager as I was to visit Israel, I honestly did not know what to expect. This was only my second time out of the US and when we visited the Galapagos in the Summer, we weren’t surrounded by opposing cultures, religions, and different ways of living life. Growing up as a Cultural USA Christian and having always lived in the south. I have never actually met or seen large numbers of Jewish or Islamic people. {as sheltered as that sounds it’s true} I learned a good deal about how to read the bible while on this trip; but I also learned about the culture of the land.

When looking out on the valleys, or across the Sea of Galilee and hearing the stories of the Bible. I was able to see the events happening before me.

I imagined Christ walking on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, sitting on the Mount of the Beatitudes and looking down on all the people who had left behind work or families to hear Him teach.

I imagine Him walking from Galilee to Jerusalem, from the desert into the City.

Sitting in the Olive Grove, praying to God and then being taken into the city from the Garden.

I saw Him at each station of the cross; I saw myself forgiven at the place of Calvary.

and I saw His promise.

The empty tomb.

At several of the places we visited there were churches; either Catholic or Orthodox. They were built to preserve the sites but I found myself frustrated with them, and at times angry at the people there. Some places, especially at the Church of the Nativity, looked like a shrine. A place demanding of worship instead of worshipping the One who came. And I have come to the conclusion I need to appreciate what these place represent and to look past the decor. I look at some of these places and wonder and think to myself what do I need to get out of this? Not the shiny prettiness of it but the reality that Christ was a man that came down from heaven to save humanity. The fact that life isn’t like this, life is dirty and hard and Christ experienced the hardness and meanness of life. But He came to change that, He came to give us life in Him!

The most important revelation God gave me was “I am a new creation in Him”.

 

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:16-20

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