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Monday, March 21, 2011
Luggage Scans, Jet Lag and the Beginning of One Big Adventure

By: Johnnie Moore at 11:22PM, North of the Sea of Galilee

Well, here we are.  

After more than 24 hours of travel we find ourselves in an idyllic resort on a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee.  The night's darkness shielded the glory of the Sea, but tomorrow morning everyone will awake to see it gleaming on the horizon.

Our group of 47 find themselves here after a harrowing day of travel. They came from far and wide, from dozens of different places, and via airplanes, trains and automobiles.  We have residential and online students, some friends of friends, and even a couple of parents and grandparents.  Our group is diverse, energetic, and ready for an adventure. 

And that's definitely what they're in store for.  

Tomorrow we'll hit the ground running with a 6:30AM wake up call (5AM for me!), and then a day filled with following the footsteps of Jesus through his Galilean ministry.  We'll visit the city where he did more miracles than any other (Capernaum), we'll go to the hillside where he unveiled his more-than-profound Beatitudes, we'll take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, and visit the place of the feeding of the five thousand.  We'll then wrap up the day with an opportunity to be baptized in the Jordan River.

As we were traversing the route from Tel Aviv to our hotel, I gave the students a couple of words of advice.  First, I suggested that they "take advantage of every opportunity." A trip like this is ultimately what you make of it.  These students need to dive into the experience, ask questions, read the land like they would a good book, and let their minds and hearts become intertwined so that this is both an educational and spiritual experience.  Secondly, I suggested that they learn again to use their imagination.  Israel is a now a first world country. It's vastly different than it was 2000 years ago.  So in some places the students will have to climb into another time using the mind that God has given them.  Our imagination is a gift of God to take us into other places. It allows us to throw ourselves into the stories of scripture. While we're there we can walk around a bit and observe new things and ultimately discover what those things mean to our lives today.  Finally, I suggested that they look at each Biblical and historical site to find the answer to four different questions:

  1. What did it look like here?  What would it look like had I been there to record this moment or this place?
  2. What did it feel like here?  What emotions would be most prevalent in this place or situation.
  3. Which piece of truth was Jesus sharing here?  What would I have learned had I been there?
  4. What practical application would I have found in this place?  How would I have immediately changed my life based upon what I had experienced?

This is the place on earth where people have, throughout all of history, been closest to God.  It's also the place where a couple of disciples didn't recognize the risen Jesus when they starred at him face-to-face on the Emmaus.  

While we're here these students will most certainly have more than a few opportunities to stare at Jesus face-to-face as they walk where he walked, but I also want them to "recognize" him.  What might it have been like to shadow him as he played with history and wielded redemption to remake the world?

Tomorrow, the adventure will begin in full force.  We will throw everyone in, and, hopefully, they'll leave baptized into a deeper faith and experience with their LORD.


Posted by Andrea Moore at 2:15 PM | Comments (0)