I didn’t have a chance to write anything last night, so I’m catching up while on the flight from Tel Aviv to Istanbul. From there we’ll be heading by flight to Izmir (in what is formerly known as Asia Minor) for the first leg of our Turkey tour. We are going with huge anticipation of what we’ll see and learn and experience.
This is a great opportunity to reflect on the style of teaching that RVL uses with us. That struck me yesterday when we spent the bulk of our day in two different fields and on a mountain path. We saw no other tourists and surprised a few of the locals by our presence.
The first field was likely one of those “solitary places” where Jesus would retreat to with his disciples and where He fed the 5000. The second field was on the ancient road from Nazareth to Capernaum. A road that Jesus walked many times. And the mountain path could well have been the one that Elijah climbed up and down when he took on the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18. In each of these places, we didn’t simply focus on the fact that maybe “this was the place…” Instead, we were deeply challenged to think about how the message of the Good News of our King impacted the ancient world into which that message was introduced, and what it means for us to live as a priesthood for the King today. Profound.
Yesterday, we also spent some time at Bethsaida, the fishing village where several of the disciples grew up. There, I couldn’t help but think of 2012. It was there that Todd, our leader, had the oldest men in our group read through the Sermon on the Mount for us. It was a beautiful moment. I remember John denOtter and also my Dad, which was moving. I remember Joe DeWeerd, who since that trip, has passed away and sees the Kingdom in its full glory. It was a rich experience to stand in that spot again.
We continue to be challenged with the core message that Jesus brought: our God reigns and we are invited not only to believe, but to live in a way that declares His glory and brings heaven to earth each and every day. For the rest of our trip we will unpack how the first disciples lived that message and brought it into a worldview vastly different than their own.
We are thinking about the elections today in Canada and praying that God will lead the process.
Thanks for the encouraging comments on the blog and for your prayers! We’ll update again when we have a chance! Below is a picture of our group on that road from Nazareth.