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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

All Good Things.....

Baha'i temple and gardens in Haifa

We weren't allowed on the steps because
of the rain...quite beautiful

The Temple is actually a tomb of the
founder of Baha'i

From the top of the Gardens looking down toward

A great view out to the Mediterranean Sea
All good things must come to an end and so it is with this adventure into the Holy Land. We left Tiberias under cloudy skies which quickly turned to rain. The drive west toward the Mediterranean was still beautiful with lots of green fields and interesting sites to see from the windows of the bus. We traveled to the third largest city in Israel Haifa, which is a port city with lots of industrial muscle.

The cave of Elijah, with church built around it.  Of all
people Napoleon was here and lost many men to the
Ottoman Turks.

Just because you don't
often see a Joseph with
child.  Here's to all the

The Bible tells us that Ravens came and brought Elijah is one of their descendants!
Our first stop was the Baha’i Temple and gardens. An offshoot of Islam, here at the Temple in Haifa there founder is buried and you find the world headquarters.

From there we went on to Mount Carmel where we not only stopped at the church built upon the cave that Elijah the prophet hid in to escape the wrath of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel; but then went to the top of the mountain to the site of his famous ‘contest’ with himself and the prophets of Baal. It was a beautiful trip up Mount Carmel even in the rainy weather. We had lunch at a little ‘falafel’ stand where the owner treated us to some music from an Iranian inspired 11 string guitar.

a little lunch time music
Aqueduct from 1st century AD
or earlier!  Caesarea Maritima

Orinaal seats and theater from King Herod's Theater
built around 12 BC it sits 4000 people

Hippodrome...ready for the Horse Races, again built
by King Herod in 12 BC... original seats!

famous inscription
by Pontus Pilate

Kelly amongst the ruins of Caesarea Maritima
From there we traveled to Caesarea Maritima which is quite the ancient city. Still standing are the Roman aqua ducts, beautiful theater and even a hippodrome for horse racing. What makes this site so important is that it was the first place that we discovered archaeological evidence of Pontius Pilate.

Old City of Jaffa

final dinner together

View from the Renaissance hotel room.  Yes, those
are the breakers of the Mediterranean you see!
Our day, and really our trip, ended with a wonderful dinner in Jaffa, the old city of Tel Aviv. Here is where Cornelius had sent for Peter, Peter saw his vision of all things being clean to eat, and Dorcas or Tabitha was mourned for her great gifts of charity to the early church. It is also from where Jonah took off in his ship to flee God and the city to which the mighty cedars of Lebanon came floating down to supply Solomon and the building of the temple. For us it was a place for dinner, laughter and preparing for goodbyes.

After a nice rest in the Hotel Renaissance (it’s perfect John and no problems checking in!) we’ll head for the airport, stand in lines, wait in layovers in Istanbul and New York and finally some time Thursday morning find ourselves back in California. I think it will take several days, weeks, maybe even months to digest everything we’ve seen and done.

What I didn’t blog about was the conflict between peoples, politics, land and religion. Suffice it to say there are many Palestinian Christians here who have a very hard time, they are discriminated against on both sides. Often they are the ones that we forget about. There is an ugly wall that encircles Bethlehem and lots of young people carrying weapons. But there were also lots of children, laughing, playing and bouncing about; they just might be the best prospect for peace. We’ll pray that they will be able to accomplish what their fathers and mothers couldn’t….peace in the Holy Land for Palestinian Christian, Arab and Jew.

1 comment:

  1. Loved your updates and photos, thanks for sharing with us your 'journey'. It's so wonderful to see that some of the sites that the Bible mentions are still being perserved considering the religious conflicts. You are so right about the future for peace, we will pray. See you soon.