Friday, May 25, 2007

Holy Land Pilgrimage: Day One in Israel

May 8, 2007

The beginning of this pilgrimage to Israel and Egypt began on the morning of Tue., May 8th, in which, like all other moments before a pilgrimage actually begins, there is much running around, wanting to be sure that the homefront is in good shape for the coming weeks.

Finally, at 1:20 in the afternoon, as I boarded the Continental shuttle to Newark Liberty Intl. Airport, the pilgrimage had begun. Getting to the airport gate that led to the jet taking us to Israel, I was amazed at the additional layer of security. Bags were checked, and the "magic" wands were passed over our bodies. This was a precursor to the kind of checkpoints that would become a regular annoyance each day in the Holy Land.

Making an easy connection in Newark to the flight that would take us to the Holy Land, we were soon in the air. Sleeping most of the way to Tel Aviv, I roused to watch some of the Orthodox rabbis convene in the back of the plane in the galley area to pray. This was a foreshadowing of many more prayer events in the days to come, resembling the mass congregation of people praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. I reminded myself that in the next few weeks, I, as a Christian, was going to be in the minority in a land filled with Muslim and Jewish believers.

Pilgrim peace, Brett