Day 1 Welcome to Israel

I made it! We landed in Tel Aviv at 5:30 am after an unexpectedly quick trip of 8 hours.  I was warned that the flight back would be much longer.  We got on a bus and started driving into Jerusalem right into traffic which thankfully didn’t turn out to be that bad.  Our first stop was the Haas Promenade which overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem.  It was so amazing to see where Jerusalem was  in context to the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane.   

My eyes could barely take it in.  I took a walk (a long walk)to get to the rest room. As I walked back along the promenade which is on a ridge overlooking Jerusalem, it started to sink in.There it is right in front of me - where Jesus prayed as his disciples slept and then where he was arrested and then later ascended into heaven.

That was the theme for the day - barely being able to take it all in. From the Haas Promenade, we drove into the Old City for walking tour.  It was raining and the stone we were walking on was quite slippery, but that didn’t take away from what I was seeing.  One of the most amazing moments was standing in front of the site where the second temple stood which is now a mosque.  This was the temple that Jesus would have know.  I looked around and realized I was standing in the place where Jesus would have walked into the temple and the steps he would have used when he went into the temple at 13 and stayed to teach.  We saw the remains of 2000 year old road that has recently been excavated and I imagined Jesus walking along it. We saw stones that the Romans threw down when they destroyed the temple in 70 CE. We ended at the Wailing Wall on the Western Wall where we had a chance to pray and place our petitions in the wall.  I was struck by so many women who stood there just praying and praying.  I prayed along with them for a bit and prayed for them as well. Pictures to come.  Too tired to post anything else.  Many Blessings, Rev. Anne-Marie