Jibstay

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Last Stop: Garden Tomb


Our 10 day tour of Israel ended this morning at the Garen Tomb, a British owned location right outside the gates of the Old City. Most archeologists dismiss this location in favor of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. But our volunter guide made a very impassionate case that this could be a possible site of Jesus' death and entombment. It is located next to a rocky hill that, in the right light, could look like a skull. It does have a large, carved out tomb with a trench that could have been used to roll a large stone over the opening. But it reminded me more of a pageant location, like a passion play.
The garden has a number of worship sites where groups can have communion and worship. We did have communion and sang together. Some in our group were deeply moved at having communion together within viewing distance of the tomb. What does it mean? Does it matter if it is the location of the real tomb or not? For me, it does not. Christ is risen. He is not bound by or defined by the contours of a rock tomb. I do not worship the stones that held him for 3 days, but hsi real presence now. And maybe that is where the power of our worship was, in his real presence when 2 or 3 gather in his name, he is there in the midst of us.
This has been a very good tour. While I would have wished to have an entire bus from Santa Barabara to ourselves, those who were joined to us by EO (Educational Opportunities, the tour group operators) became wonderful gifts and added rich texture to our experience. But the purpose of a tour like this, or maybe pigrimage, it to take it home, to come back different, changed, deepened, refreshed and renewed.
Tonight I find out how early we leave the hotel for Tel Aviv for our 10:40 am flight home via Newark NJ. We should arrive in Los Angeles around 10 pm Thursday and catch the Santa Barbara Air Bus getting into Santa Barbara about 1:30 am. Pray for safe travel and good connections!

4 Comments:

At 9:09 AM , Anonymous Lyle said...

Hi Donn,
A good summary of what is really important. A lot of folks are and have been following your adventures here at the Samarkand. We trust you will have a safe and timely trip home.

Lyle

 
At 9:43 AM , Anonymous Lyle said...

Hi Don,
I should mention that we are all OK here re the fires. However, Mt. Miguel was evacuated two days ago. They may be going back today.

Lyle

 
At 8:38 PM , Blogger donnjohnson said...

Thanks Lyle, for keeping friends updated. We are up now and on the way home. See you Sunday!

 
At 8:38 PM , Blogger donnjohnson said...

Thanks Lyle, for keeping friends updated. We are up now and on the way home. See you Sunday!

 

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