2022 Holy Land Pilgrimage Day 7
Updated: Jun 6
Photos by Trish Thompson
The start of our final day in Israel began with a preflight COVID test. Everyone was negative so we will all be coming home together!
We had a little free time so several took a walk in the neighborhood to see the Cathedral of St George. It was a beautiful historic Anglican Church with a baptismal pool and a font donated by Queen Victoria. Individual chairs displayed hand stitched kneelers.
Our first group tour spot was the Jerusalem Holocaust Museum. Amazing architecture design provided multiple halls of artifacts and taped interviews. No pictures were allowed so each visitor was free from distractions while touring the museum.
We left there to dine in our last local eatery. Buffet lunch which featured fresh salads and pita, chicken, beef and mushroom, and sautéed liver. Last item created discussion as no one knew what it was until the first bite!
After lunch we visited a site known as The Garden Tomb. Caretakers offer evidence to show how their location, not Church of the Holy Sepulcher, should be the correct burial location of Jesus. While two locations for a grave may be a head scratcher, it really shouldn’t matter because He rose! Before leaving this site, we gathered in a small chapel to celebrate Eucharist. Powerful way to end our adventure.
Chris Burton shared that she was moved to tears knowing that she was walking where Jesus walked. An altar painting at Church of Saint Peter en Gallicantu really hit me. Seeing Peter’s expression of despair spoke to her saying “What have I done?” At the Church of the Annunciation she saw numerous mosaics of Mary created in the artist’s home country image which caused Chris to reflect on the universality of our faith. Finally, the peace and serenity in the Garden Tomb was the perfect ending.
Ucheoma Longe now has a better imagery of the Bible story because she has been there. When Jesus speaks about the mountain she now has a visual of what he saw. It makes it more real. The Via Delarosa was eye opening as she didn’t grow up with stations of the cross. She has a heightened awareness of the sacrifice having walked the way. Finally the empty garden tomb shouts “he is alive.” Traveling with the church family strengthened many relationships and provided the opportunity to meet new members.
Lee Stranathan said the week was full of highs. He enjoyed our evening gathers and looks forward to getting home safely! After a few days we will gather in our home church and have time for reflection on the trips events.