A pilgrimage is not a tour. It’s not visiting as an entrée and prayer as a side dish. It’s an encounter with the Lord Jesus, the Living and True God. I’m learning the truth of this statement with every day that goes by.
Today, we visited Mount Nebo, where Moses saw the Promised Land (click here for video), and visited the city of Madaba, wherein lies St. George Orthodox Church, built around a sixth-century mosaic map of the Holy Land (click here for video). (Click to see today’s photos.) We all feel the pilgrimage winding down and coming to a close. We’ve been enjoying each other’s company and wondering how we’ll be able to “digest” all that we’ve seen, touched, tasted, smelled, and heard during these past two weeks. (Pilgrimages are really quite exhausting.)
As we stood on top of Mt. Nebo, I thought more about Moses. His story really is extraordinary. After experiencing this pilgrimage, Moses has become more of a human being to me and less of a Charlton Heston. He wasn’t perfect, but God chose him. God revealed Himself to Moses in a tremendous way. After experiencing the burning bush and hearing the name of God, Moses would never be the same.
The same is true for us as pilgrims. We have touched the very stones where Jesus sat and walked and taught and healed, and we’ve been touched by the “living stones” – the native people of the Holy Land. The places of the Bible have become places of our own, and the people of the Bible have become real.
How do you view the Bible and the words within it? (Is it a history book, a book of fairy tales, something not really relevant to your life, a book of holy words and teachings, a personal guidebook?) How often do you read it? Have you studied and learned about the Scriptures? Encountering God’s Word in a new way has been one of the fruits of this pilgrimage for me, personally. I hope that, by our sharing this pilgrimage with you, you have been challenged and inspired to deepen your own faith in a way that is best for you.