Hello friends . . . grace and peace,
We started early this morning . . . 5:30 am wake up, 5:55 am gather, 6:00 am departure. Our destination? The Old City of Jerusalem. Our purpose? To walk The Way of The Cross along the very streets that Jesus would have used.
Let that sink in for a moment . . . well, more than a moment actually. We’re still letting it sink in and it was over 9 hours ago that it took place.
Obviously, if you’ve been following along in this blog, you know by now that there are many MANY sites in the Holy Land that are “traditional” or “monuments” or “remembrances” of events that took place because we simply don’t know the exact location or, more commonly, those places are deep underground. This is due to the fact that buildings and churches were destroyed many times over the centuries and then, when a different occupying group came in, they just built on the rubble of the old places. 1st century buildings, built on top of by Byzantines, built on top of by the Crusaders, built on top of by the Ottomans, built on top of as late as the last 40 years!
But still, the notion of having walked along the same streets or even just in the same area as Jesus did in as we participated in The Way of The Cross is an honor at the last and life altering at most!
We were asked not to bring cameras but I snuck two with my phone (tee hee . . . shame on me)
We used John Peterson’s book called “A Walk in Jerusalem: Stations of the Cross” as our guide and liturgy. It’s a phenomenal book and one we highly recommend. You can find it at Amazon right HERE.
After breakfast, we went to one of the towns that claims that they are the site of the true Emmaus, where some of Jesus’ followers were headed on the day of his resurrection. (no one knows for sure where the REAL city of Emmaus is) We had our final Eucharist together as a class and it was lovely. A fitting farewell to our time together in the Holy Land.
Currently, as this is being written, we are packing up the things we brought with us as well as all the stuff we’ve got for our loved ones back home. We have a final meal together this evening, a short ceremony/celebration, and then many of us begin the journey home. We’ll keep you updated as we travel here on the blog, on facebook, twitter, email, texts, etc.
peace to you