Jerusalem + Snow =
Hello 6AM, and warm showers.
Hey there breakfast of French toast.
How’s it going, in class map coloring?
Hi ya rain, hail, and snow.
There’s something great about the feeling of getting to the end of your day and the morning seems like it was yesterday. I’m two for two so far, and I have a feeling that isn’t going to change over the next three weeks.
The lesson of today seemed to be flexibility and perseverance. When packing for Israel, I didn’t bring rain boots, a heavy scarf, thick gloves, or even a beanie, because I didn’t anticipate the weather being much colder than 45 degrees and drizzling. So naturally today when we were out on a field study in Jerusalem and it started hailing, raining, and finally snowing, I was dressed pretty inadequately.
By 4PM my tennis shoes and every uncovered limestone path in Jerusalem was soaked. It seemed as though the entire city had turned into a 7 Eleven slurpee. My feet felt like blocks of ice, my fingers were so numb I couldn’t take notes, and the wind kept knocking my hood off my head. Circumstantially speaking, today stunk.
And yet despite all of this, the Lord filled me to overflowing with joy today. Yea, the weather conditions weren’t ideal, but the verse that He whispered warmed me to the core.
“Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete…I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
- John 16:24, 33 -
He has overcome. Throughout the ages He has proved Himself faithful to His people, provided that they were willing to do likewise. Israel is a country situated in the worst possible place in regard to remaining independent. It’s surrounded by countries with more resources and larger empires. The land is a mixed bag that doesn’t have a large enough excess of to truly become powerful. And although Israel has undergone a number of different rulers throughout its history, they are still now their own country, a testament to the fact that God remembers and fulfills His promises to His children.
The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”
- Genesis 13:14-17 -
Check out this 90 second video that our instructor showed us in class today. We see that God has made good on his promise over several millennium. He is the kind of faithful and loyal that most would consider crazy; He is Abba, fulfilling His promise to take care of His Children.
T H E H O L Y S E P U L C H R E
The last thing I wanted to share with you today was the experience at the Holy Sepulchre, a church in the Christian Quarter of the Old City. It is said that the church was built on the location where Jesus was crucified (Golgotha), and that His tomb is in the same place. It is a very dark, open building, full of arches, long, curving halls, and stairs. There are hanging lamps wherever you look, as well as columns that help support this dome. In the center of the church, below the dome is where the heavily religious gather, lighting candles and muttering prayers under breath. A long line awaits those who wish to touch the tomb of Jesus, and a room of prayer invites others.
Today I stood in the very vicinity of where my Jesus paid it all. It was beyond humbling. I serve a God who fulfilled His promises in every single way, from the beginning of time to eternity. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.