Guest Blogger: Pastor Dan Weber- Israel Pilgrimage 2017
Earlier this year, twenty-three King of Kings folks and I spent ten days in Israel. It wasn’t a mission trip. It was much more of a pilgrimage. During the trip and immediately afterwards, I was asked many times: “When are you go back?” (You can scroll down for the details, but first let me tell you why I’m going back.) As I lead and facilitate a holy journey, walking in the footsteps of Jesus, I’m most excited about how earthly everything is.
The mission of God is to restore creation. And in order to accomplish that mission, Jesus entered into creation. He ran down dirt roads. He splashed in the bathtub. He drank wine and broke bread. He was cold and wet when it rained, and he was sweaty and dusty after a long walk.
The mission of God sent Jesus to where his lost and hurting people were. And he lived among them. He walked where we walk. The remarkable thing about a pilgrimage to the Holy Land is to be able to walk where he walked. And where did he walk? Among people. Among the beautiful and the broken. In literal low valleys and lofty mountain-tops. He walked to places of worship and to homes for parties. But wherever he walked, he embodied and brought with him the redemptive mission of God.
As a baptized follower of Jesus, you don’t have to go to Israel to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. He is with you through the gift of your baptism. You, therefore, embody and bring with you the redemptive mission of God wherever you go.
God sends you to walk in your home, your neighborhood, your school, your park, your favorite bar, your office’s parking lot, your grocery store, your church, and myriads of other places. Because that’s where people are. And that’s where God’s heart is.
Jesus is joined to you in baptism. And he stays with you wherever your feet may tread. There’s nothing magical about the streets in Jerusalem compared to the streets in Omaha. The beautiful mystery is that God chooses to be there. Wherever hurting people are, God is there. Wherever the saints assemble, God is there. Even the dark and broken places where we can’t image anything good going on, God is there at this moment. And he’s inviting us to walk in his steps and join him on his mission.
May God guide your every step by his Spirit.
If you’re interested in joining me in Israel next year, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are some of the details:
- Dates: January 30-February 9, 2017
- Sites will include: Tel Aviv, Caesarea, Megiddo, Mount Carmel, Nazareth, Cana, Galilee, Tabgha, Heptagon Church, Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum, Golan Heights, Caesarea Philippi, Tel Dan, Gadera Cliffs, Gideon Springs, Beit Shean, Bethlehem, Church of the Nativity, Shepherd Fields, Mount of Olives, Palm Sunday Road, Garden of Gethsemane, Temple Mount, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Southern Steps, Rabbi’s Tunnel, Ein Gedi, Qumran, Masada, Dead Sea, Qasr El-Yahud (baptismal site), Shrine of the Book Museum, Golgotha, Garden Tomb, Jerusalem, Elah Valley, and Jaffa.
- I’ll lead an informational meeting June 14th, 12:30pm to 1:30pm – in the Gathering Room in The Core. But don’t wait until then if you have any questions or if you’re interested.