Hello everyone. What a long but really lovely day it has been.
This first bit is for Little Disciples,Explorers,Children’s Church and
Sunday School. Today we had our lunch in Jericho and then we travelled along the road from Jericho to Jerusalem. Can you remember the name of the parable that Jesus told, that was set on that road? The G— S——–. I’m sure you’ll know ; Little Disciples have definitely heard the story and made a picture which is up on the display board. Today I took some photographs of the road – it is very rocky,dry and dusty with nothing growing there.It’s almost like a moonscape. I have some pictures on my camera which I shall print and put them on the display board next to your picture.It’s difficult to imagine just how desolate it is.
And now, more about today .We left Galilee this morning and we journeyed south towards Jericho down the valley of the River Jordan.The land along the way is desert -very rocky and dusty. Water is taken from the Jordan river to help grow vegetables and fruit. When you see the crops amidst the dry dusty wilderness it’s a reminder that water is essential for life.
Water has a great spiritual significance in the Bible particularly at our baptism. Today we stopped at Qaser el yahud a place on the River Jordan where it is thought Jesus was baptised by John. We renewed our baptismal promises and the sign of the cross was made on our foreheads with water from the Jordan. It was a very special moment.
The road that we took from Galilee south wards went through land which is known as the West Bank. This is land on the west Bank of the Jordan river that was occupied by Israel following the 1967 war. Prior to that it had been Palestine under the control of the Jordanian authorities.Under a two state solution to the land conflict this would become Palestine.One of the biggest obstacles to the peace process are the Israeli settlements which are being built on occupied territory.
After leaving Jericho we journeyed on to Bethany, the place where Mary,Martha and Lazarus lived. Two miles onwards from Bethany brought us to Jerusalem,and what an amazing city it is. At 6pm this evening our pilgrimage party held a Eucharist in St George’s cathedral. It was a very special moment for me as I had been asked to deacon which felt a great privilege for which I’m very thankful. Another member of our party played the organ and we finished up with the hymns ‘Jerusalem the Golden’ and….’And did those feet in ancient times’-which were sung with gusto.
What a wonderful day……now for an early night!