Aching bones and worn out bodies disembarked from our luxury airliner. I was a part of that entourage of Americans gearing up for a ten-day tour of the Holy Land. At least I was part of the former. The “luxury” part only applies to first and business class.
Nevertheless, there is something about setting foot in the Promised Land that invigorates the soul of every follower of Jesus. Certainly my wife and I were a part of that crowd. We were now in His Land.
Our host company collected all of us and directed us to board their bus. Other groups from around the world were forming near baggage claim to experience their once-in-a-lifetime visit as well. I smiled deep in my spirit, knowing that they would be blown away in their steps that followed the Savior.
The modern city of Tel Aviv whizzed by in a blur. Freeway speeds blended ancient and modern into one massive blob that needed trained guided to unravel the wonder of events from the distant past from the comforts of modern air travel and air-conditioned buses. A million thoughts spanned the synapses of my mind.
My duty was to take our extra day in advance of our pilgrims arriving to adjust to the new time zone, rest up and be ready to deliver 25 Scripture presentations for my bus load of 40 travelers. What an honor it is for a preacher to be able to open the Word of God and explain its meaning right at the location where these miraculous events took place thousands of years ago. I was jazzed.
Once our bags were unpacked and we relaxed in our high-rise hotel, I opened the patio door and stepped on to our balcony. It was a totally refreshing experience. The modern buildings of an ancient city and the expanse of the historic Mediterranean Sea rhythmically lapped on the sandy beach.
There was an unmistakable sense of calling and meaning mixed perfectly in this moment. My soul anticipated two weeks in a land filled with promises, drama and prophecy. This view of the city was a postcard snapshot of what was about to transpire.
I had the privilege of adding to the lives of pilgrims gathering from around the world. This would be a once in a lifetime experience for many. It made me want to be ready and deliver my best for them.
photo credit: brucefong photography