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Doye / Uncategorized / Lunch in Bethlehem's Manger Square
Lunch in Bethlehem's Manger Square
In 2009 my first visit to the Holy Land, was attending a training course for British Clergy at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. Judaism is the tap root of Christianity. Everywhere you go in Israel, the Bible comes alive.
I feel strangely at home in
Israel; a young, modern and vibrant nation thriving in this ancient landscape.
There are Jews from every continent, of very different skin tones and cultural
backgrounds. I noticed that in Israel it's OK to wave your hands when you talk!
Almost everyone has an opinion here! This is a democratic country; where there
are three Israelis, there are at least five different points of view.
The Holocaust Memorial is important to our understanding of the true evil of Nazism and its modern descendants, as the enemies of Judaism, of true Christianity, and all the Western civilizations. Holocaust studies are important for revealing the terror and horror of those years, but can also reveal great heroism and glimpses of forgotten goodness. However, the painful relationship between Jews and Christianity has clearly been mainly with North European Christianity.
Our time was divided between Yad Vashem and visiting Bible sites. We drove to the river Jordan (official site) by coach from Jerusalem, through the Valley of Ayalon, and past Har Meggiddo, with Mount Gilboa in the distance. We passed through the valley of Jezreel to Nazareth, to the traditional spot where the Angel visited the Virgin Mary. We went on past Cana where Jesus turned water to wine, through Magdala (the home of Mary Magdalene) down to Capernaum by the Sea of Galilee, to the traditional site of St Peter's House and the ruins of an ancient synagogue.
We stopped at Tabgha where Jesus multiplied loaves and fishes and went on from there to Tiberius, down to the Jordan River. We came back through the Jordan Valley past Bethshan near Mount Tabor, Jericho and the Dead Sea. We prayed at the Western Wall of the temple in Jerusalem and left for Bethlehem, to worship at the Evangelical Lutheran Church before visiting the Church of the Nativity built over the spot where Jesus was born.
We had lunch in Manger Square, stopped for souvenirs, and then headed back to Jerusalem. We entered the Old City of Jerusalem by the Jaffa Gate and went to the Holy Sepulchre marking the site of Calvary and then went up to the gallery built over the Crucifixion rock, near the tomb. We circled Mount Zion and the City of David. History that informs our today and inspires our tomorrow.
I am so grateful to God for
the miracle that is Israel. I always feel that the Lord has brought me here to
rekindle a fire and inspire me to serve him more.
Join us this year from 6th to 13th August 2011 as we tour the Holy Land and visit some of the
charities that I support there, including Magen David Adom and Eshol. It is an
experience you don't want to miss! For tour details and registration visit Apostolic Pastoral Association website.
Bishop Dr. Doye Agama is the head of the Apostolic Pastoral Association of Manchester, UK. He is also the Chairman of the UK's Christian Friends of Mogen David Adom, Israel's volunteer emergency response organization. Bishop Doye is leading a tour to Israel in August 2011.
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