Jerusalem. Wow. Our time in this monumental place was well spent. It was like stepping back in time. I couldn’t get over the many parallels from Jesus’s time to modern culture. As we entered into the Old City, it was busier than Times Square. It was bustling with people from all walks of life and different religions. It was a humbling experiencing the culture in Jerusalem where you are surrounded by so many people with all differing beliefs.
I have an incredible love and respect for the Jews and Muslims. It gave me a deeper love for others as I observed, walked alongside and saw the conflict and tension in the heart of the city. It was easy to see how the Pharisees would have been in the time of Jesus as I observed some of the highly religious groups interacting in the Old City. With full respect, I admired their dedication to their religion. It challenged me to have a deeper connection with God and to be more selfless in my walk.
I’ve always had a love for all people groups, but observing how others treated each other and the biases I observed challenged me even more. I noticed the discomfort and unconscious bias from the differing groups. I realized as I observed the tension that I’m called to love both groups, despite how they treat each other. I’m not called to take sides, but to love in the middle of the tension just as Jesus did.
We experienced so much in Jerusalem that it’s hard to recap every single thing, but what I walked away with the most was a deeper desire to know God and spend time with the Lord. I walked away with a deeper hunger for the Word because I had now walked where most of the stories in scripture took place. I walked away challenged to be a better disciple. I walked away with a better understanding of the symbolism and significance of Israel.