The Desert–Pray or Play

Companion Synod Trip

The Desert

4 January 2016

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Me in Wadi Qelt, with St. George’s Monatery in the Valley

But he would withdraw to a deserted place to pray (Luke 5:16)

Pray?  Does it say pray? Or play?

 

Well, we’ve done some of both.  The quickly changing topography just south of Jerusalem has always impressed me.  Within about twenty minutes the teeming buildings and people of the city disappear and you have desolation.

 

Hermits and others get away from it all by leaving.  Same here.  You have your monks at St. George, in the Wadi Qelt, and up at the monastery at the Mt. of Temptation in Jericho.

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The middle cave up at the monastery up the Mt. of Temptation (see the innermost in the background)

To get there, you descend from Jerusalem down, down, down.  We past sea level and camel rides to the lowest place on earth, the Dead Sea.

 

We learned of the community of Essenes, that got away from it all, and whose practices are imaged (some think) in the life and ministry of John the Baptist.

 

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Two of our Young Adult companions (bright sun!)

As we spent the day away, we were joined by this year’s group of Young Adults in Global Mission, who are serving the ELJCHL in schools.

 

We are connecting with the land, and the people of the land.  And we are talking about both, a lot.

 

More later.

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Susan on Shi-Shi

 

 

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