What is really going on here? We are searching for safety from the storm, for comfort from the pain and for love for the journey. This pilgrimage is a cry for salvation. We realize we are in great need of sanctification and salvation.
Our Christian Israeli guide, Sammy, is a scripture freek. He constantly refers to passages in the Gospels and Old Testament by chapter and verse as we visit each holy site. If you have not read your Bible deeply, it is too late to do it now to try to keep up with him.
We head first to Mount Tabor – the site of Jesus transfiguration with Peter and James witnessing. It is a high domed hill a few km from Nazareth. At the top is a church built on the spot and we celebrate Mass. I take a selfie photo afterwards and the top of my head is lit up eerily.
Next we head south for the spot Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. We wade in and Fr Susai reads from the Bible. Then we baptize each other in the muddy water. There are a few hundred others doing the same thing as a couple of soldiers look on from each side of the border. The river is maybe 50 feet across and Jordan is on the other bank. Bishop Sylvain and Dave splash each other.
Lunch in Bethlehem followed by some religious article shopping. They have great olive wood carvings and Dave finds a St Joseph with Mary and Jesus. Marie finds some nice things. We check into the Dan Jerusalem Hotel – a large hotel that has a huge terraced lobby. Somewhat dated, it has a large spa complex and dining room. The beds are particularly comfortable.
We say goodnight after a nightcap with John and Christine.