Saturday, November 13, 2010

Israel- Day Four

Today we celebrated Shabbat in Haifa, Israel with Ohalei Rachamim and Rabbi Eitan. Thankfully, we had headphones with translations in English as this service was conducted entirely in Hebrew. (I was even more thankful when I traded in my Russian translation headphones for English ones.)

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Rabbi Eitan is a jewel of a man who grew  up out of the 60s Hippy movement, came to Christ at the time, and eventually sensed the call to preach and surrendered.  A lot of the congregation were Russian Jews who have received the revelations of who Jesus is and they follow Him.  They are precious people.

Israel 11132010 (29)Not only did we worship in Hebrew (and it was a wonderful time of worship!) and hear the Word translated but we also celebrated communion together. One of the most awesome times of communion we have experienced in quite some time.  Many came for prayer in this service and God gave me a word of encouragement for Rabbi Eitan.

Shabbat is a gift from God to His people.  A time to rest from our labors and the stresses of life, a time of worship, a time to hear from His Word and be reminded of His promises and His blessings, a time to fellowship with friends and a time to enjoy our family.  I truly believe this is a practice that we as Gentile Christians should make a part of our weekly lives.  We would be healthier, happier and more in tune with our God.

We then travelled to another Druze village where we (again) had falafel and Cheri had schnitzel in a pita. It was all marvelous and the vegetables surrounding it made it even better.

We travelled from there through some hill country and wound up in one of my favorite digs, Tel Megiddo. Much is to be seen here including marvelous city gates, stables, and a water system cut through the earth. Biblically, this Tel dates back to Solomon and Rehaboam (and even earlier.) Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we were unable to see most of it. (again thankfully, I had already been there and had seen most of it several years ago. Additionally, I am able to read updates about Tel Megiddo on a consistent basis.)

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As we headed in for the night, we passed through Nazareth (which is a MUCH larger town than I expected.)

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Our last stop for the evening was the church of the Wedding of Cana. I was deeply bothered there because of all of the obvious superstition that was rampant, including throwing money into some of the ancient ruins and being remarried in the church itself. As a surprise, each couple (who desired so) were treated to a renewal of vows and the gifting of roses to the wife. I additionally purchased a ketubah, a Jewish certificate of marriage, for our marriage.

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Tomorrow we head out for the Dead Sea and Masada. I anxiously await this time.

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