Pastor's Blog

Truth vs. The Place Posted 5.08.2014

My head is spinning.  My feet are aching.  My heart is full. It is after sunset on Friday evening, on Monday morning we head to Jordan.  My heart cannot absorb too much more.  I just got back to my hotel after a journey to the Western Wall to experience the inauguration of Shabbat.  What a spectacle.  This sacred space (it is the closest any Jew can get to the Temple destroyed by the Romans in the first century) is home to worship.  The singing and dancing and wall-to-wall black coats and hats was a sight I’ll remember for a long time.  But it is a little sad that they do not know the hope of a Savior in Jesus.


But this morning I watched dozens of tourists rush into the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and place their rosaries and crosses on the “stone of unction” (where the body of Jesus was laid out in preparation for burial).  The other night, they had poured perfume all over the stone slab and kissed it and put things on it to bring the blessing of God….I guess.  But nothing supports its authenticity. But it is a little sad that the Bible has not opened their eyes to the grace of God in Jesus Christ.


As we have walked up and down every hill in Israel (twice) I watch the ritual, the desperate seeking for God, through some religious system.  Some try to be close to God by being near to where He’s been before.  Or they buy something with supposedly mystical powers that can draw them into the blessing of God.

Such are the dangers of travel to this land.  You can see the land, but forge the God of the land.  For me, it is worth the risk that I might learn how the land enhances the story God is telling.  There is evidence everywhere of the intervention of God in the history of humanity as we walk these hills. 


Because it really doesn’t matter if Mary died on Mt. Zion or was born just north of the Temple Mount. What matters is how I treat my wife.  It doesn’t matter if Jesus fed the disciples at Tabgha or if He fed 5,000 just south of there.  What matters is am I willing to let someone go first at a stop sign.  It doesn’t matter if Jesus was crucified at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher or at the Garden Tomb.  What matters is that I learn to put the needs of someone else before my own.   And it doesn’t matter if the Western Wall is the closest point to the ancient Temple or not, especially if I trample over someone to make it there on time.

What matters is that Jesus came. Died.  And rose again.  Finding the exact spot is not critical, but what we do with the truth is extremely critical.  What’s important?  That I am patient.  That I love Jesus even when I trying to get a great picture.  Faith is lived out in the mundane of life.  Sometimes I wish it weren’t so, because I’m not always so good at the mundane.  Are you?


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