Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Time to get on the plane

Today will be mostly a day of waiting. Our group got up early to get in line to go to the temple mount area, so we could see the famous Dome of the Rock mosque

. We waited two hours in line and once we got there were were allowed to stay only about 10 minutes because there had been some breach of security and the guards wanted to clear the area. (Picture of the day).

We are now waiting back at the college for our taxi to come 6 to take us to the airport for our 10.30 pm flight. When we get there we have been told to expect long lines going through checkpoints and custom searches. If all goes well we should be home in about 24 hours.

I know it will take some time to digest all we have seen and experienced. Reflecting over coffee with Laura a few minutes ago, a few things come to mind.

1. A better sense of the geography of Jesus life. Case in point, Golgotha and the empty tomb are only about 100 yard apart.

2. Radical nature of Jesus teaching. He challenged every aspect of his culture and society. He offended everybody while loving them too.

3. The simplicity of Jesus teaching. He used common and accessible images to convey his message. Preachers beware!

4. His society was incredibly violent and conflicted. Just like ours.

5. We like to think of the divine as perfection. Jesus entered fully into the messiness of reality. That is what incarnation is all about.

6. There far more expressions of Christianity than we are aware of in the
States, many are more colorful noisy and expressive than we are. Many face open persecution.

7. The situation in the middle east is much more complex and much more dangerous than we think. Every side has blood on their hands and there is little desire to compromise on anything. Our foreign policy over the years h not helped matters.

I am sure there will be many more insights as time goes on. For now, I am grateful too all of you back home for your prayers and support. It WAS a life changing experience!

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