Holy Land – Day 4

  • By Dr. Don Martin
  • Senior Pastor
  • March 20, 2015
  The weather was cool and breezy to begin this day in the Holy Land. But the sun came out and the air warmed as we arrived at Caesarea by the Sea. We toured the ruins of another palace created by Herod the Great. It must have been as spectacular and grand as anything on the planet in its day. Sports and drama and luxurious living on the very edge of the Mediterranean Sea. This is the place of all places in the world where the Apostle Paul was imprisoned for several years. Here he gave witness to his Damascus Road conversion and proclaimed the gospel with a key emphasis on the resurrection of Christ Jesus. King Agrippa and Felix and Festus were the listeners on the day he appealed to Caesar. He sailed to Rome from this port where tradition says he was executed after a lengthy imprisonment there. He had sailed many times from this port to begin his journeys to preach CHRIST to the surrounding nations. This place puts the quiet back into my heart because it is stunning in beauty and rich in profound Christian history. Our next stop was Mt. Carmel which is where Elijah fought and slaughtered the prophets of Baal who had been leading Israel astray. Limping around with two opinions was the word read to us and there is a sermon to be found in this moment in the history of Israel. The view of the Valley of Megiddo or Armageddon is the most amazing in all the nation for me. The mountain ground feels and looks inviting and the valley below is lush and rich and large and should easily feed the entire nation. Lunch at the nearby Druze cafeteria was good and I was hungry. I'm a Waffle House guy and I miss sausage/bacon bad but the falafel I had today hit the spot. It was hot and I had a plate full of peppers and such that satisfied. I thought of my son Taylor who is a foodie because he would enjoy this place. And I got a War Eagle from a complete stranger as I have every day. Auburn fans are everywhere. Nazareth was nice. It was my third visit to these places so it was the most fun watching the rookies see the well where Jesus came for water during his growing up days, where Mary heard the pregnant news from the Angel Gabriel, and to be again in the synagogue where Jesus worshiped as a boy. Jesus was raised in a beautiful spot on God's green earth. It was country as cornbread and not big enough to have its own Post Office but I bet it lacked nothing in the things that help a boy grow up in favor with God and people. The best moment for me took me by complete surprise. I was watching a gathering of Nigerian Christians wait to enter a Catholic Church that is something to see with both eyes open wide and I'm Protestant in my bones. They looked happy and excited and I was just having fun people-watching wishing I spoke their tongue when a handsome man asked if he could get his picture made with me. I don't know why but I'm guessing it was the Auburn hat and I almost gave him the hat but it's my favorite. We shook hands and never exchanged a single word but I bet we will one day. Now it's time for dinner and I'm sitting in a fine hotel room that overlooks the Sea of Galilee grateful that the Lord turned water into wine.   Y'all Come, Dr. Don.