Journal: Thursday 08 January 2015 07:56
Last night I arrived in Israel with a group of curates from Portsmouth diocese. An exciting opportunity to explore the land of the Holy one. I’m not sure if I will be able to blog regularly during this trip or not, but I hope to jot down my unedited thoughts as I go to capture the raw experience as best I can. If it works, it will be for me an interesting experience. If not nothing will be lost.
Day 1 Israel pilgrimage
Thursday 08 January 2015 07:58: Leaving Tel Aviv
1 John 4:7-8 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Today’s reading in the daily office spoke of love. Seems funny to be heading out into a weeks pilgrimage of the Holy Land so divided where there is such a mix of those with and without love for one another. However we start by +Christopher (+ means bishop for those who are not familiar) recounting a story of love from last nights arrival. One of my fellow curates was interviewed at length upon arrival, mostly due to his cultural background. A mother of four young children who had just arrived on the same plane as us, and was no doubt exhausted as the children had been tired and irritable approached +Christopher. This Rabi, for that is what +Christopher discovered she was, approached offering her help. In the end our friend was allowed into Israel, and had been treated with courtesy and respect, but her offer of love was a timely offer in this divided land.
Thursday 08 January 2015 17:27: Arrived at hotel on Lake of Galilee.
The trip has been re-ordered due to weather conditions impacting what we can visit. So first we head towards Galilee. Enroute visiting places around Nazareth. The Basilica of the Transfiguration with views over the plain of Armageddon, and The Nazareth Village, a recreation of 1st Century Galilee life. In the afternoon we visited St Gabriel’s the Synagogue Church and the Basilica of the Annunciation. On the whole an interesting day, but if I’m honest it felt a little like the Disney tour of The Holy Land. I wonder if it is even possible to view this land through the eyes of a first century Jew, in the twenty first century. Still there is something about travelling with a group of friends and fellow Christians in search of the Holy one. I do hope that over the next few days that moment comes.