Tiberias to Nazareth and now on our way to Jericho, down the Jordan and eventually the Dead Sea. What a journey!
Yesterday we began our day in Zippori ( Sepphoris ) where I wept when I heard the Song of Ascents Psalm 121 sung in Hebrew. Perhaps it was hearing the words of the psalm in a new way.
A song of ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Maybe I heard the story of Miriam in a new way as it was being relayed. Maybe I quietly longed for the peace of a people, all people living in harmony or perhaps I was just overwhelmed by my presence here. None the less I began my day so moved by the Holy Spirit, I wept. Every step is prayerful. Every step is with Godly conversation and quiet listening. Guard us and guide us Lord as to fulfill your will, your call and to live into your grace and be beacons of your Love.
I glance out over the hills a we make our way to Jericho. Reflecting back on our travels of yesterday with the mosaics, roads and remnants of Sepphoris, the priestly practicality of Father at Christ Church Nazareth, the awesome privilege and private tour from the Sisters of Nazareth, the reflection of my roots with the Blessed Mother at the Church of the Annunciation to St. Joseph’s Church.
And now we stop at Jericho. I am greeted by a gentleman who gives me a red rose and am treated like a lady. I have to admit after being with all the gentlemen for several days now it was very nice. He introduced us to another who brought us in the back where there was Phoenician glass. Vases, glasses, goblets aligned the walls most beautifully. There is a special set on the way home to my wife. 😉
After seeing the remnants of the wall of Jericho, we headed for the cable cars that brought us up to the Mt. of Temptation, well mostly. Once there, we had many steps to climb to get up to the Byzantine Monastery that houses the relics venerating the Temptation of Christ and Christ’s victory.
There is a holiness to the climb, one to be embraced in the silent counting of every step overlooking Jericho. Imagine Jesus on the Mountain in the dessert for Forty days looking over the land beneath him. A land written about in scripture, a land rich in history, a land he would come to know with new eyes and steady heart.
re now at the Jordan and I will touch the waters of our savior's baptism as we together renew our Baptismal Covenant.
w in Qumran and then to swim in the Dead Sea. I hope to post more pics later on.