“I wish we were closer.”
Have you ever said that to a friend or family member separated by distance but still emotionally close? Sometimes when a big event like a graduation or baptism is happening, I’ll say, “I wish we could fold a map and bring Vancouver next door to California.”
In a way, that’s what’s happening on this trip to the Holy Land, except instead of closing the geographical distance, being here closes the chronological gap between ‘then’ and ‘now’.
Sometimes that happens by seeing something of incredible brilliance and an engineering feat, such as the fortress and hilltop palace of Masada, built by Herod the Great on a high mesa in the Judean desert by the Dead Sea in the first century, BCE.
Sometimes the historical gap is closed by something quite ordinary, like walking on the flat stone main road in Sephora, by Nazareth, and seeing ruts in the stone carved over the years by the wheels of chariots. As a boy, Jesus may well have walked those stones as it is believed his father, Joseph, worked in Sephoras, a booming Roman city near Nazareth. Jesus may have heard those chariots clattering by and may have watched the Roman soldiers playing a game on the roadway stones that still marks them today, 2,000 years later. Suddenly, the chronological map is scrunched and ‘then’ and ‘now’ are brought near.
Coming to the Holy Land, we have stepped into a wrinkle in time.
I look forward to sharing more with you, but here are a few images from our journey: