The presence of God with us
After walking through the lands of Egypt and Jordan, it is easy to look back on this time and try to remember all of the temples and ruins, all of the fun outdoor experiences and different modes of travel, and all of the passages of the Bible we walked through and think to yourself, “What just happened?”
Temples. There are a lot of temples in the Middle East. These places of worship have been an attempt for humanity to experience the presence of God with us. Unfortunately, many of these attempts have been fraught with pagan misguidings and missing the mark in every way possible. The elaborate effort of mankind to construct temples built with hands and backbreaking manual labor to appease a god who isn’t there was a stark reminder to center our lives on the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Who was, Who is, and Who is to come. And, our God desires to be as close to us as possible, dwelling within the temple of our bodies. We are walking away with a greater sense of focused worship and devotion to God’s initiation toward us.
Besides deepening our spiritual walks on this journey, we have had fun. Just the modes of transportation taken: chartered airplane flights, jeep tours through Wadi Rum, riding donkeys out of Petra, camels, water taxis through the Nile, a riverboat through the Nile, buses and wild horse carriage rides. These were literally the vehicles that brought us to places that tapped into a sense of adventure that God has created for us, to experience His creation.
And today we finished our final stop, Jerash. A Roman decapolis city. Huge, massive, extravagant in only a way that Rome could pull off. Walking through streets that once were, we kept thinking of our own decapolis cities we are returning to tomorrow. It is a reminder and a call to come back changed, different, and to not get lost in the temples of our own making and that somehow in the grandeur of what man can pull off, to keep the simplicity of the gospel present in our lives coming home.
God is surely up to something good. His story became bigger on this trip. More of the pieces of His living Word came together. His story intersects with our stories and we leave this place changed.
While the majority of our group is heading home, the rest will continue on to Israel for a few days for which there won't be a daily blog! Thank you for following along with us!
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