Thoughts, questions, and iimpressions were expressed as I walked with Beth Matteson at Morrow's Meadow. She had gone to Israel on a similar tour to the one I went on. Her tour was led by a Palestinian Christian. Mine was led by a Jewish woman. It was helpful for to hear the different view points.
There was a huge amount of Jewish history that our group received from Tamar, our guide. I learned so much. She had 30 years of experience as a guide and answered all of our questions and more. Sanaa, the other guide, shared more personal insights about Jesus.
Beth and I were sojourners for 10 days in the foreign land of Israel. We called ourselves pilgrims, because we were walking in a land that is where our roots are. We have deeper spiritual roots than just our physical family tree. We have a spiritual family tree and it goes back thousands of years. We got to see where the author of our faith lived, moved, and breathed during his short years on earth....God himself, in a man. Pilgrims? yes, still learning, still moving forward....with purpose and hope.
A highlight of our walk was when we started talking about the feeling of being with thousands of believers from different countries with different languages but of the same faith. We all walked through the gates of Jerusalem. We all prayed at the wailing wall right where the temple had been. Denominations were not even considered. She shared a verse from the Bible with me. It's happening as He said it would.
It is in I Kings 8 (The ark of the covenant had just been brought to the Most Holy Place and Solomon prayed a long prayer. The first part talked about God hearing the prayers of the Israelites and then later on he speaks of people from all nations. He calls the foreigners. He asks God to hear and answer our prayers, as we come from all over to pray at the temple wall?)
I Kings 8
41 “As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name— 42 for they will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm—when they come and pray toward this temple, 43 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.
This happens over the generations. It doesn't have to be in Israel on the spot. The important thing is that answers to prayer are for all people who believe and pray.