The Holy Land, 2011
Christians have been making pilgrimages here since the first century. Early believers who had never before visited Jerusalem or Nazareth or Bethlehem desired to see and connect with these sacred sites.
Our group of twenty-nine pilgrims from Christ Church, Tyler, arrived in Tel Aviv after largely uneventful flights. Some came hours or days earlier, but most flew together from Dallas through Newark to Israel.
I was immediately struck by the large number of observant Jews saying their prayers on the airplane. Some used tefillin, a pair of small black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah, which are worn by observant Jews during weekday morning prayers. Hebrew filled the air as we began this great journey together.
Gus, our guide, met us at the airport and our tour coach brought us safe and sound to the Blue Bay hotel in Natanya, offering a great dinner and beautiful views of the Mediterranean.
After gathering for some group sharing and Compline, we are off to bed, travel weary but excited about tomorrow’s journey to Caesarea, Nazareth, and Cana in the Galilee.
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