Greetings from the Holy Land! By God’s grace, all 19 pilgrims from Transfiguration are here safely and we’ve already experienced many sacred moments. We are guests of St. George’s Anglican College, which is a program for pilgrims and students operated out of the Anglican Cathedral in Jerusalem. So our home base in three blocks north of the walls of the Old City. But in addition to exploring this ancient, complicated city, the group has already visited Bethlehem to see the Church of the Nativity and the site venerated for almost two millennia as the place of Jesus’ birth; we walked in the Shepherd’s Field just down the hillside where tradition says the shepherds were greeted by the angel host; we put our feet in the water of the Jordan River and renewed our baptismal covenant; and we spent a silent hour in the desert of the Judean Wilderness between Jericho and Jerusalem, where Jesus spent forty days fasting and praying and being tempted.
Today we drive north to the Galilee, where we’ll visit Nazareth, the villages and churches along the shore of the Sea of Galilee that honor many of Jesus’ greatest miracles, Caesarea Maritama (the Caesarea of the Book of Acts) and Caesarea Philippi (where Jesus brought the disciples to ask them “who do you say that I am?”). Yes, the next few days will be eventful, too.
I humbly ask for your continued prayers for us. The group is having a rich and holy time, and we are all soaking up every precious and blessed second. It is so good to know that we have your love and encouragement back home. There may be nineteen pilgrims here, but we are, as a whole church, joined into Christ’s Body, so you are very much here with us. Grace and peace be with you!