Faith & Insight: Deepening Christian faith in Israel
Greetings from Israel.
I’m writing this from the shores of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. Peggy and I are leading a group from the church on a 10-day study tour in the Holy Land. This is our seventh trip and we thoroughly enjoy the specialness of each one.
Tonight following dinner, we gathered our group of 21 together and talked about things that have been highlights during our first four days. We spent the first day and night at the Dead Sea, visited Masada, Ein Gedi, then went up to Jerusalem for the last three days.
Some of the things that were mentioned at dinner were the overwhelming fullness of heart at the first sight of the city of Jerusalem; one of the men tried to describe the presence of God he experienced in his heart as we sat quietly in the Garden of Gethsemane near olive trees that date back to the time Jesus; seeing the actual geographical places that were familiar from reading the Bible but now were coming alive; walking on the actual stone paths that Jesus walked on many years ago; the joy of being baptized in the Jordan River near the actual place John the Baptist baptized Jesus; the wonder as we walked along the top of the wall that surrounds Jerusalem; the growing friendships and camaraderie within the group and the anticipation of the next three days as we visit the areas of the majority of the public ministry of Jesus — like Capernaum, Tabgha, Tiberias, Mount of Beatitudes and others.
We have a deep love for Israel and encourage you, if you have opportunity to visit, do! I promise it will never be the same when you read the Bible, having been “on location.”
Even if you’re not able to visit, you can do what the Bible encourages and “pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you.” (Psalm 122:6)
Louis J. Locke is founding pastor of Fountainhead Foursquare Church, http://www.ffccarson.org.