Our day began in Bet She’an. Here the god Dionesus was worshiped, but the one true God is still worshiped today.Here was hellenism at its core, and what is the end of that? Here it is ruins, but the influence of sports, arts and media, education, and entertainment still goes on in today’s world… What was it like for a young Jewish boy to have to enter the city to sell his wares- vegetables, fruits, etc. In the splendor of the city is he tempted to join the activity there?
One earthquake destroyed ten Decapolis cities, and caused giant pillars to fall.
In order to keep their people from being influenced by hellenism some Jewish people wrote special laws to protect their people. Others, such as the Zealots, thought the hellenistic people ought to be annihilated. Were any of the disciples here? Did this prepare them to go to Asia Minor? What did it look like for them to encounter evil, and show them a better way? What does it look like for us to do that today?
When you own a business, do you build people, or do you build wealth?
What story does this remind you of? Where do you think we are?
Going to Jericho in Palestinian territory was a bit stretching for some of us, and there was very little ruins to be seen in the city, except for the evidence of rubbish on the streets. Eating lunch here at an Arab Christian restaurant was our mission. As we sat there, we listened to a Muslim prayer call, and then to the sermon being proclaimed from loudspeakers in the Mosque you see below. Friday is the Muslim day of worship, and there was the evidence-all the shoes that we see on the front steps of the Mosque we passed, Here the tension of what it must feel like to a Jew to be in their own land, and hear this proclamation that Allah is God , becomes real. The Psalm of the day was Psalm 122. I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”…Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together, to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you! Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!” For my brothers and companions’ sake I will say, “Peace be within you!” For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good. From Jericho to Jerusalem, we make Aliyah, via Ma’ale Addumim.
The first place we go to upon the arrival in Jerusalem is the Suk.We were at the Western Wall in time to hear the Shabbat horn usher in the Sabbath. Shabbat Shalom! Celebrating a day of rest and worship with singing and dancing, is a moving experience! Do we serve God with such passion?