I can officially mark Palestine off my travel list. We ventured over there to see the Nativity and where some believe was the site that Jesus was born. (Everyone knows Bethlehem is located in Palestine, right?)
It’s neat to see these sites, but a lot of them are now located in old churches, which built buildings to commemorate these events. So, for the birthplace of Jesus, you climb down into this church to a small room where they believe the manger was and where Mary birthed Jesus. As a traveler to the Holy Land, I expect to see these sites. However, do I really believe they can pinpoint the exact piece of ground where our Lord was brought to Earth? No, honestly, I don’t.
Some of these things, I understand how they can confirm. We went to the Mount of Olives, overlooking the Kidron Valley and the city of Jerusalem. I understand how they can know for sure that these are the correct sites. They’re specific geographic locations.
As we were passing from Israel into Palestine to go to the manger site, we saw the wall that separates Palestine from Israel. Our modern day Berlin Wall. I honestly can’t tell you how I feel about the wall. I don’t know enough of the exact political background and I don’t live here. I don’t know how I would feel about it if I did live here, so I can’t give an opinion one way or another.
What I do understand is that there are Palestinian radicals that do crazy things and the wall is supposed to offer protection. However, by building it, innocent Palestinian people get caught in the middle of the conflict.
I took a lot of pictures of the wall. And I was thinking after we visited the manger site: I came here to see these holy sites and yet, I’m interested in this wall. Why? The Lord spoke to me about this. We come to this place to see where He was born. But the point is, He was born. He lived in this place. He gave His life for us. And, because of that, we can have life abundant and eternal.
To me, when I see this wall, it reminds me of the lost people Jesus came to save. It reminds me that only 1.5% of Israel’s population is Christian. And only 3% of Jordan. It breaks my heart. So many people walking through this world without knowing the greatest Joy there is.
I want to worship Him.
I want to remember the reason why He came. And I want to live out that Gospel calling to the fullest.