A Travellerspoint blog

Farewell and Godspeed

Next year in .....

sunny

Farewells are hard. We say 8AD2F3E7-CE74-4A31-B490-2E1F9DC6A6BE

8AD2F3E7-CE74-4A31-B490-2E1F9DC6A6BE

to each other, “May you fare well; God be with you; safe travels.” We mean it but there is so much more to say like “I will miss you.” and “I think you are wrong about Brett Kavanaugh.” and “It’s been great and I am ready to go home.” We said all these things in many ways. We celebrated the pilgrimage with a wonderful meal at the American Colony Hotel, with drinks in the garden. We had long breakfast conversations and we waved goodbye to Susan Pinkerton, Molly Louden and Mary Quinlan as they left for an early flight. The 13 who are left are exploring today and we will all depart for Ben Gurion Airport at 7:30 this evening. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Posted by HopeEakins 01:28 Archived in Israel Comments (0)

Masada and Qumran

After the Jewish Revolt

sunny

We went farther afield today, traveling down beside the Dead Sea to Masada, the site of one of King Herod’s mountain palaces, now an important Jewish icon of their people’s struggle for freedom from oppression. After the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 66 AD, Jewish Zealots arose in a Great Revolt, fled Jerusalem, and conquered Masada. Masada then became the last bastion of Jewish freedom fighters. Although other Jews joined the community, they were overpowered by 8000 Roman troops after a two year siege. When there was no hope of survival, members of the community agreed that they would rather die than be enslaved by the Romans. And so ten leaders were chosen, each to kill all the members of his family. then lots were drawn and one man chosen to kill the nine and then fall on his own sword, leaving no survivors on the mountain.

We ascended the site by cable car (see below) and walked through the ruins, perplexed and troubled by every aspect of this tragic event. Below Andrea Harris focuses her camera through a window looking at the ruins of the Roman camps. Also photos of the calidarium, a bath chamber warmed by hot air circulated through the walls and under the floor.

Next we drove to Qumran, a community of Essenes which existed from the second century BC until 68 AD. We moved slowly because the temperature was 108 degrees, but not hot enough to keep us from our awe over seeing the caves where ancient manuscripts were hidden until they were discovered in 1948.

AD7D4519-DFC0-4EC9-89CC-4C33AA6B0105.jpegD53C10FC-BE7F-459A-A5F7-3DDCBFBD67F8

D53C10FC-BE7F-459A-A5F7-3DDCBFBD67F8

FA06A78B-D753-4A2F-A97E-9D2D3D2648E1

FA06A78B-D753-4A2F-A97E-9D2D3D2648E1

7E9A85F8-FF76-4429-9D3C-B496516EFB92

7E9A85F8-FF76-4429-9D3C-B496516EFB92

10B1EDCD-49DA-444C-AD78-0D1C4C80433B

10B1EDCD-49DA-444C-AD78-0D1C4C80433B

100F441E-9E5B-4A28-9D8C-87FAD8EDDD61

100F441E-9E5B-4A28-9D8C-87FAD8EDDD61

Posted by HopeEakins 12:30 Archived in Israel Comments (0)

From the Way of the Cross to the Temple Steps

A Day of Pilgrimage

sunny

We rose before dawn to walk in silence into the Old City to begin the stations of the cross on the Via Dolorosa. We entered through the Herod Gate and, using our cell phones as flashlights, found our way through dark, narrow, stone-paved streets to a church near the site of the Praetorium, where Pontius Pilate sentenced Jesus to be crucified. From there we followed in Jesus’ steps as he staggered through Jerusalem carrying his cross to Calvary. Twelve more times we paused on our journey to read from Scripture, offer prayers, and reflect on Christ’s suffering. It was a sad journey that made us confront the brokenness in our own lives and in our world. And then at the fifteenth station, we found ourselves at the empty tomb in the Church of the Holy. Sepulchre. Into our sadness we heard the Good News proclaimed: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is here! He is risen! He is with you now!”
Like those who heard this news on the first Easter morning, we left the empty tomb with wonder, joy, and fresh hope in our hearts.

Our contemplation of Easter continued as we walked back to St. George’s Guest House for breakfast and then rode in a bus out to one of the four places that have been identified as Emmaus. Two troubled disciples were on their way to Emmaus when they encountered a stranger on the road who turned out to be the risen Christ. As we read the Gospel story and celebrated the Eucharist, we were powerfully reminded that Christ still makes himself known in Scripture and the breaking of the bread.

As we left the grove where we had gathered with hearts full, we came upon a carnival picture board of the disciples and Jesus on the road, and someone couldn’t help but look through its opening.

At a festive lunch back in Jerusalem, we bade farewell to eight of our fellow pilgrims who were returning home to the US. Then the eighteen of us who are continuing on the pilgrimage’s three day extension went back into the Old City to explore the archeological remains at the south end of the Temple Mount. The highlight of the afternoon was sitting on the actual steps that Jesus used when he went up to worship in the Temple. We rejoiced as we read together the words from Psalm 122.
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the LORD. Now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem. Peace be within your walls and quietness within your borders. WJE

7F9A42BC-CC9B-4FD7-B770-FEA528BFBEFA

7F9A42BC-CC9B-4FD7-B770-FEA528BFBEFA

8AEC4A9C-7D50-4F5F-8E33-2E8E3B1BFF25

8AEC4A9C-7D50-4F5F-8E33-2E8E3B1BFF25

F309237E-8C16-4299-817A-58955A421954

F309237E-8C16-4299-817A-58955A421954

C69F4D46-2DD4-47C6-8391-BDCAFE06A091

C69F4D46-2DD4-47C6-8391-BDCAFE06A091

Posted by HopeEakins 06:26 Archived in Israel Comments (0)

A Hard Day in Jerusalem

With good news and an amusing end

sunny

Maybe we pilgrims have been together too long, at least the women among us, for we are starting to look alike. See Mary Quinlan, Hope Eakins and Audrey Lamy below. Maybe we are feeling alike for we all came out of the Holocaust Museum subdued and upset. How could such shameful behavior happen? How could such disgusting inhumanity go unchecked? What kind of mothers did these Nazis have? And why didn’t the German people rebel? How did Hitler get such a hold on their souls? The Holocaust wasn’t a war, it was the systematic murder of six million human beings who had done no wrong. They were just being who they were created to be. And how can we make sure this evil is never repeated? Had Vashem is in undated with waves of Israeli soldiers, because a visit here is a compulsory part of their training. This is understandable because these young people have to put their own lives on the line to protect the population from another atrocity, another war ... but seeing this military presence in a place that is deliberate in showing the horrors of a Nazi military presence makes us uncomfortable. We see the Israeli oppression of the Palestinians and wonder why nobody learned a lesson ... and why nobody seems to read the Bible, at least the part about God giving the Israelites the Promised Land with the condition that they treat everyone in the land with justice and love the strangers as themselves.

We also saw tiny signs of hope. We saw the trees planted for the Righteous Among the Nations, people who risked their own lives to save the lives of Jews. We saw this magnificent museum that cuts through the land as it cuts through our hearts, built in 1957 with much of it paid for by German reparation support, the penance that follows repentance. We heard the names of one and a half million children read at the Children’s Memorial where one candle flickers, reflected infinitely in this dark space filled with anguish...

Later we will return to East Jerusalem where we hear the anguish of the Palestinian parents whose children have no hope because they are forced to live in refugee camps and have no rights in their own land. Both sides live in fear. Dear Lord guide us into the ways of peace.

While we were at the museum we rejoiced to hear from Jeff Verney that the eight pilgrims who departed for home earlier today had arrived safely in the USA. Praise God!

Finally we explored the fabulous archeological exhibits at the Israel Museum and some us went to the fine gift shop there. Prominent displayed are the Freudian slippers pictured below, perhaps because of the special exhibition on Sigmund Freud. While at the museum, we rejoiced to hear from Jeff Verney that the eight pilgrims who departed for home earlier today had arrived safely in the USA. Praise God

89A3B5EE-CE62-4207-8FFB-A73B8C6D3174.jpegED22F446-C133-400C-ABD8-936F5F40A71E

ED22F446-C133-400C-ABD8-936F5F40A71E

A606C581-DEFE-4897-93F4-7F3410F4D567.jpeg200A54C3-70CC-402A-94F7-DFD27569C8FB.jpeg56F3E71D-51AB-44F1-B565-2D7410B1990F

56F3E71D-51AB-44F1-B565-2D7410B1990F

129FA0F1-B10E-4B11-B898-1402C6B26EEE

129FA0F1-B10E-4B11-B898-1402C6B26EEE

Posted by HopeEakins 08:33 Archived in Israel Comments (1)

On the way to the cross.

A sobering day

sunny

Another early departure, this at 7:15 to arrive at the Garden of Gethsemane before the crowds appeared. And we did arrive in the stillness of the day. We sat in the Garden of Agony, a small place filled with olive trees whose roots are 2000 years old (Below, Jim Lawler looks across the fence at them.)and heard the Scriptural accounts of Jesus’s prayer here where Susan Pinkerton and Bill and Hope Eakins sit). Walking into the Church of All Nations, we prayed at a large rock platform at the altar marking the site where Jesus prayed the night before his death. We drove to Bethphage where the first Palm Sunday procession began. The Crusaders marked this site with a mounting block where Jesus had to climb on his donkey (perhaps encumbered with much armor??). Then to the Dominus Flevit Church where Jesus wept over Jerusalem and his impending death. Finally we continued to St. Peter Galicantu where the cock crowed at Peter’s betrayal of Jesus (I do not know this man.).

We continued to the Mt. of Olives where we began our walk down the hill to Gethsemane. The day brought an overwhelming amaount of emotion to people of faith, hearing of Jesus’s willing accession to his death, seeing where it all happened- for us and for this world.

So when we got on the bus to go to Jericho we were a bit silent, not singing bus songs and sharing photos but watching as the road descended almost a mile in altitude on the road to Jericho. We stopped at the Dead Sea where we frolicked and floated, (See Bette Jane Hardersen, David Charlesworth, Lissie Brooks, and Cindy Lawler below — and a peek at Pam Lamlein). and then we drove to the Qumri’s house where we celebrated with dinner and cocktails in the garden. Iyad Qumri is our marvelously kind and competent land guide, and we are so grateful for his expertise and his generous hospitality. At the Qumri’s, we gave gifts to our prayer partners, rejoiced in new friendships,and returned to St. George’s Filled in body, mind, and spirit

.D7071A2F-0D1D-4EC2-9D1B-0B82900E1C93.jpeg0B7033D3-687C-40E4-9EAA-F9E22312C49D.jpeg1503E131-D0F5-4A99-A7F3-04AA2CDBC4D2.jpegBA17DDEB-83CE-473E-9F7E-F34A4A49D103.jpeg4E1D8D9A-4494-47B4-B58D-2C4CC2D30133.jpeg824200AD-098D-4697-9569-25C64FB2DD0D.jpeg

Posted by HopeEakins 11:16 Archived in Israel Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 17) Page [1] 2 3 4 »