What a long day. It started off on the Mt. of Olives. If you ever come to Jerusalem in January – bundle up. It was freezing, and we weren’t prepared for it. Our local guide said that he was cold. We walked all over Jerusalem tonight. It was great to check out so much – too much to share here.
We then went to Azekah and the Valley of Elah. I grabbed my 5 stones for me and 5 stones for a good friend. We went to Bet Shemesh and checked out a cistern like was mentioned in so many stories in the Bible.
I can go on about all of these places, but I just want to focus on one that stood out.
We went to the Holy Sephulchre today. It wasn’t the favorite of our group. It was one of the most fascinating stops for me. If you’ve never been to an orthodox or catholic church or service, it would seem weird to you. You would judge it from whatever free church tradition you come from. The practices would be weird and the actions of the people foreign and maybe even wrong – from your perspective.
I had a conversation with my friend about it, and told him that they might think that our free form of worship might be weird to them as well. We would be too focused on content and miss out on a relationship with God. We would be werid to them as well.
Our religious identities that we live and grow up with can be weird to others. They will definitely be weird to us. I think there’s identity maturity in being able to recognize the beauty of someone else’s relitous identity – even if it is weird to us.