Monday, April 19, 2010

At the Church of the Beautitudes

This is truly one of the most beautiful landscapes in all of Israel and one I couldn't wait to see again. Not to mention that my friends would have the opportunity to see it for the first time. They were impressed, of course, but possibly none so much as Larry.

Maybe impressed isn't the right word.

Moved. (That's a good word...)

You see, unbeknownst to me, Larry had a dream before we came to Israel. I won't get into the details of it because it's not my place to do so. But it was here, at the Church of the Beatitudes, that Larry realized the dream as reality. It was, quite simply put, the "I am walking where Jesus walked" moment.

There's really nothing like that feeling, that sudden knowledge that you are where He was, where His Spirit continues to hover and wait. Where it inspires and excites.

It is said that here is the place where Jesus -- gathered by countless listeners -- gave the famous "blessed" sermon. Blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are the meek ... Personally, I like walking around the gardens -- this time I went alone -- and imagining being one of those listening to Rabbi Y'eshua. A gentle sloping toward the shoreline of the Galilee makes a perfect spot for sitting ... listening ... pondering ... learning more about God and what he expects from me and what He desires to give to me.

There is peace in this location. landscapes, rolling hillsides, bold cliffs standing guard in the distance. reality, Jesus was being pretty gentle in many ways with his teaching here. These were the poor who listened, the ones who daily had to make peace with Rome, the ones who lived meekly ... teachable, as it were. The time had not yet come for some of Jesus' more difficult teachings ... He was just getting started.

And perhaps that is what spoke the loudest to Larry. The gentle Jesus. The rabbi ... teaching in ways beyond words to ears ... but lessons to hearts.

"I was here... this is my land ... these are my people ... my Israel ... "

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