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Overarching Thoughts on My Trip to Israel

June 22, 2012 1 comment
What’s the good word?  I just returned from Israel last week. What an AMAZING trip!  For all these years I have read, studied, and preached the story of God and His people, and on this trip, these stories came to life. Here we were walking in these places that tie directly back to what we read in Scripture. Here I was standing in a palace built and lived in by Herod the Great, here I was standing on the place where Christ was believed to be crucified, here I was walking in the Garden of Gethsemane where Christ prayed to his father, here I was looking at a palace built by King David himself, here I was looking at a wall dating back 3500 years before Christ, mentioned in the book of Isaiah as being built by King Hezekiah. AMAZING! To think that they are STILL THERE!

What this trip validated the most for me is that Scripture truly is God’s LIVING word. These stories have survived years and years of wars, revolts, and whatever else. We still come and celebrate and read them. It was fitting for me to go at this particular time and place since we are reading The Story from front to back. I can truly look and see just how magnificent these stories are, and I see them now with new eyes. I can’t wait to share with you all that I learned.

What really stuck out for me the most though was our tour guide, Ronnie. Here was this Jewish man telling ME the story of Jesus. The amazing part for me was that at times he knew more than I did, and certainly knew more than some “devout” Christians I knew. What a conviction for me and for all of us. It made me proud that my congregation has committed to reading and learning about this story from front to back. Too often we get caught up in rules, how things should be done in worship, and other things in church life, that God’s story gets pushed to the back. Bibles sit on shelves and never get read, and slowly we begin to loose “The Story”. The one other thing that stuck out for me was our loss of our Jewish roots. We are very closely connected to the faith of the Jewish people. Let’s not forget, our “old testament story” is the story of the Jewish people, Jesus was born and Jew and died a Jew, and we are all descendants of Abraham.  We need to reclaim that heritage of our faith. Their story is our story, and it’s God’s story. But here’s the ultimate question: What will we do with it? Will we keep it to ourselves? If so, that defeats the purpose of God’s story. This is a story that needs to be shared, it needs to be told to others, it needs to continue to live in God’s people and in God’s word. Just as I will share with you my experience of this trip over the next few blog posts, my hope is that you will in turn share this GOOD NEWS with others, and continue to tell the story. And that’s the good word for today.

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I’m back

Whats the good word? Im back! For those of you hoping to get blog posts while I was in The Holy Land, sorry I couldn’t keep you updated. BUT I will be blogging about my experience and what I learned over the next several posts. I hope to include some pictures as well. So be on the look out, sign up for email alerts, and stay tuned! It was a fabulous trip and I can’t wait to share with you! And that’s he good word for today!

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