We’ve tried to put some time between our last posting from Israel; we wanted to think through the things we have seen, heard, touched, tasted, and experienced.
I (j) had an experience that actually began in Bethlehem. There I saw that Palestinians could go back and forth into Jewish Israel with little difficulty BUT Jews were not allowed to enter Palestinian controlled areas. I was angry with the Palestinians, even though our guide there was a Palestinian Christian. But God has a wonderful way of speaking to my heart when I am walking in personal headiness and sin; He gently reminded me that He loves the Palestinians too … even having a plan for them. I was ashamed, humbled, and changed with this thought.
I also was touched by the devotion many people had to different relics of Christianity. We noticed in Cana how dedicated (superstitious) some were to an actual place (even though we know that it WAS NOT the actual building where the wedding of Cana had taken place); it was built much later. You can call this what you will but the best thing I can think of is simple blindness … We MUST maintain that our faith is in Jesus Christ and not in places or events.
I also fell more deeply in love with the Jewish people. I know that many of them have not yet put their trust in Jesus Christ as the Messiah but I am readily assured that the Church HAS NOT replaced them and is, in fact, to be used to jealously draw them into a proper relationship with God. Please understand, they too must come to the Father through Jesus the Son BUT, they are still God’s chosen people and He definitely has a plan for them. (And cool-ly, you and I get to be a part of that plan.)
Did we experience an earth-shattering change? I don’t think so (but I am still chewing on it.) Instead, I think I (j) received a deepening of that which He was already working in me … but the jury is still out on that one.