Our day started on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, just like in the story of the Good Samaritan told by Jesus. It is a very desolate road with many dangers still out there.
The only danger we came across was a camel - who wasn't too dangerous after all. In fact, he gave us rides which was a lot of fun!
The most amazing thing was watching this young boy manuever the camel with great skill and ease. Quite photogenic as well.
Our second stop was at Qumran where they found the Dead Sea scrolls. It was amazing to think about the religious community of the Essenes (who both Jesus and John the Baptist may have studied with) living in this area and you have to wonder if there are more sacred texts and religious treasures hidden in these caves.
From the prayers in the wilderness at the beginning of his ministry to the prayer in the garden at the end, we made our way UP (and I do mean up, we travelled from well below sea level to well above sea level) to Jerusalem and the Mt. of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane. The Garden is directely across from the city walls and the Golden Gates where Jesus would have been led after he was betrayed and arrested, It is one of the most profound places I have exeriened yet and to be able to touch Olive trees that are 2000 years old and could have been close to Jesus was humbling.
It was raining at the Mt. of Olives but the sky began to clear a little as we were leaving. So I'll leave you with this picture of the Godlen Gates and Temple Walls. May this inspire your prayers.
It has been a day of prayer. Prayer for all of those at Faith Church as you have been in worship and then the physical reminders of the prayers of the Essenes and the prayers of Jesus in the wildernes and in the Garden.
May we pray without ceasing.