What a big difference! After touring around with the young and inexperienced guide in Jordan, our group felt so happy to be back to Israel with our mature and experienced guide who knew the Bible well. He could quote so many stories from the Bible when we arrived at different sites. Even the priest was impressed. The priest basically didn’t need to say much. 😀
The tour guide asked me about buying a new pair of shoes but I tried on my groupmate’s spare sneakers when we arrived at the hotel last night and they fitted perfectly so I didn’t need to buy any new ones. Everyone was happy.
We arrived at Bethphage where Jesus asked his disciples to find a colt upon which He rode into Jerusalem. He was welcomed by the crowds then but not long after that, he was put to death and in the most brutal way back then, also, as demanded by the crowds. Humans. Our nature and behaviour still haven’t changed over the past thousands, even millions of years.
Then we headed to Pater Noster. It was believed that Jesus taught His disciples how to pray here. (Matthew 6:9-13) That’s why we could see walls imprinted with the prayer ‘Our Father’ in different languages at this site.
Gethsemane is where Jesus prayed before he was arrested. He displayed his ‘human’ side to us. He had fear but he was willing to accept the fate (i.e. the cup) that had been arranged for him.
They came to a plot of land called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, ‘Stay here while I pray.’ Then he took Peter and James and John with him. And he began to feel terror and anguish. And he said to them, ‘My soul is sorrowful to the point of death. Wait here, and stay awake.’ And going on a little further he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, this hour might pass him by. ‘Abba, Father!’ he said, ‘For you everything is possible. Take this cup away from me. But let it be as you, not I, would have it.’
– Mark 14:32-37
Unfortunately, his disciples fell asleep while he was praying. They didn’t know what was happening and what was coming. To this day, we are still like this. We are still unprepared for any uncertainties to come. When something unexpectedly happens, instead of calmly solving the problems, we become or we choose to be frantic.
Church of All Nations – that’s a very beautiful name, indeed. One day, we will realize that we are all ‘Earthlings’. The concept of ‘different’ countries and ‘different’ territories will be gone. ‘International’ travel will mean travelling to another planet like Mars, ‘domestic’ flights will mean flying to another piece of land on Earth. Our ‘passports’ will mean a type of travel document that will allow us to travel ‘internationally’, meaning to another planet. But before that happens, ‘all nations’ live within us. Just like what we have all heard, ‘God is within us’, not anywhere else. If we want to seek, seek no further. It’s all within our soul. Follow our hearts. Our hearts always lead us to the right path. We are all born innocent.
In 2012, when I was travelling in South America, I met a lot more Israelis. They told me about their culture, tradition and… some funny stories too. I will write about that later. Stay tuned. 😊
After a tight schedule for the day, we were taken to a souvenir shop where our group insanely bought many souvenirs. I don’t like to buy so many things when I travel. I think I only bought one or two items. If I remember correctly, our tour guide knew the owner of this shop. The priest also told us about the family who owned it. As our group was very generous, the shop made a lot of business that night before they closed.
28 July 2009
I needed some external sources to help me recall while I wrote the above:
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