We recently had the opportunity to go on a pilgrimage to Israel with a group of people from Highfield and St Michael and All Angels churches led by Revs. Erica Roberts and Sheena Williams.
We spent six nights in Jerusalem visiting nearby places and then travelled up the Jordan valley to stay three nights in the Galilee area. At many of the sites, we paused to read the relevant Bible passage and pray. We also had a variety of worship times and services of communion, and a renewal of baptismal promises at the River Jordan. We were accompanied on our travels by an excellent local guide, from whom we learnt a lot about both Israel’s history, and its current political situation.
It was an exceptional experience to visit this special land. Being in the places where events in the Bible happened brought them to life. The Mount of Olives for example has an amazing view over Jerusalem and it was moving to consider Jesus looking over the city and weeping. Walking around Caperneum and taking a boat on the Sea of Galilee, it was easy to imagine Jesus and the disciples being there in the familiar stories of the gospels. We were also particularly impacted by our visit to the Western wall in Jerusalem where the Jews go to pray. Both of us felt a very strong sense of God’s presence there as we prayed.
On the social side, we enjoyed meeting new people, eating together and having fun floating in the Dead Sea.
It was a spiritually significant visit for both of us, which will have lasting impact as we read the Bible stories afresh with the wonderful pictures in our mind of where they occurred.
John and Jean Fleming