On to the next day!
We departed from our lovely hotel at 745 for Mount Tabor. This was the supposed site of the Transfiguration.
We took taxis up this huge hill (they said it would take 2 hours to walk up) and first had a Eucharist. I was the chalice bearer. It was nice- in little covered enclave in front of the church. Inside the beautiful church (complete with mosaics :) ) was the side 'tents' (mini chapels) for Elijah and Moses.
After that, we headed into Jericho. Someone commented that after visiting Jericho, no wonder Joshua wanted to destroy it. The context of that is: Jericho is in the West Bank- a Palestinian city (Just like Bethlehem). So, what we're learning is (and skip ahead if you know a lot about this situation): the Jews and the Palestinians have been fighting for ages over this land. The Palestinians right now have the West Bank (of the Jordan River) and the Israeli's have basically closed off a bunch of there cities by something like over 200 checkpoints and have stop imports and exports and have basically destroyed their economies. So, Jericho was the worst place I think I've ever been. The outskirts of Jericho is literally in a desert hell. When you get to the middle, it is an oasis in the desert with plants and trees, but it is simply tragic what oppression leads to.
After Jericho, we stopped and looked over the desert. You could basically draw a straight line to Jerusalem of where we've been, and they suspect Jesus walked somewhere down their to get to Jerusalem haha. The desert was stunning though. (We don't have those pics up yet, but we'll get there :) )
When we headed back into Jerusalem, we read Psalms. It gives a whole new meaning when you read about ascending the holy hill and you're really doing it!
We got back and although I wasn't a huge fan of the city of Jerusalem before (dirty, busy, loud, all big city stuff...) it was nice to go 'home.'
Later on, we went to the Garden Tomb. This is where the Protestants believe the Crucifixion happened (as opposed to Holy Sepulcher or also called Church of the Resurrection). However, it has been proved these tombs found here were not of Joseph of Arimathea, but rather 3rd century tombs.
Well, I think that's it. I know it's not very deep, but it's an idea of what we're going through (to match pics) and it's a start to processing all of these feelings and emotions over here.
I pray all our well. Prayers for Uncle Bruce and Family- May he rest in peace and rise in Glory. You will be missed.