The Time Traveler

In the morning I am sitting in the Judean desert overlooking the Wadi Qelt and the route Jesus would walk from Jericho to Jerusalem. I pray the list I have taken from my Facebook Page that people have given me. And then I leave the 21st century behind. As always, I can see that group walking the dusty road to meet the Imperial Forces arriving from Rome coming in the opposite direction, in the silence of the morning.

We have Eucharist in the desert while the Bedouins gather to sell us trinkets and scarves as soon as the priest gives us the dismissal. They are spreading their wares as we pray. We pilgrims from the U.S. and Hong Kong celebrate and greet each other with the peace. And then we shop with our Bedouin brothers and their children.

And now we are no longer at the lowest point below sea level. We leave Palestine and cross over into Israel. We are in the north, in the Galilee, getting ready to go to church in Nazareth. We will worship in English and Arabic and go to coffee hour with our Palestinian Christian hosts. And still in that desert, Our Lord and his followers are making their way to Jerusalem for the Passover. I stand on the terrace of the Convent of the Sisters of Nazareth watching over the city and praying my list and watching. And waiting. I can see still that procession crossing the desert. I can see His face.

Here in the Holy Land we wait and we watch in hope. And we walk and watch with people from all over the world. Our neighbors. Our sisters and brothers throughout the centuries. And the sound of the Jewish shofar and the Christian church bells and the Muslim call to prayer mingle in the air.

And in that desert and on top of the world in Nazareth I see Him again and hear Him say:

‘You shall love the Lord your God….And you shall love your neighbor as yourself’. On these two commandments hang all the laws and the prophets.’

Love yourself as God loves you and love your neighbors. All of them. Thanks be to God.