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Wednesday, February 06, 2008


From Jerusalem - Ash Wednesday, February 6, 2008

We spent Ash Wednesday experiencing two sides of suffering, one Jesus' Biblical suffering and one current the current suffering of the Israeli and Palestinian people. In the morning, we toured more in the Old City and in the afternoon we visited the Biblical city of Hebron. I cannot do justice to these two powerful halves of our day without some more time for reflection which will need to wait for our return to the USA. I will write and reflect on this more soon.

Our Ash Wednesday ended with a dinner at the Christmas Hotel in east Jerusalem hosted by ELCJHL Bishop Munib Younan.

On Thursday we have a day of visiting New Testament sites in Galilee and will head from there directly to a hotel near the Tel Aviv airport where we will have a couple of hours of sleep before rising around midnight Thursday/Friday to get to the airport for our 5:30 a.m. first flight home on Friday. The extensive Tel Aviv airport pre-flight security screening process (probably made more extensive since we spent much of our time here with Palestinians) requires us to be at the airport by 2:00 a.m. or so on Friday!

My "Morning Call" newspaper opinion piece was published today. You can read it online at www.mcall.com/news/opinion/anotherview/all-right_col.6259471feb06,0,7678242.story . If this link doesn't work, just go to www.mcall.com and click on "opinion" on the left hand menu and then look for "In the Middle East...." I have already heard from several people who disagree with what I wrote. More on that in a later posting.

I am not sure if I will have computer access or time for further reflections before we arrive home in Lansdale on Friday evening. There is much more to write and pray about from this journey.

God's blessings on your Lenten journey,


hi Eric just got home from work here at 2am east coast time on thursday and just finished watching your sermon online i didnt make to church on wednesday. anyway your sermon was great. short but it had a wonderful meaning and the pictures shown while you were preaching really added to the sermon. what an experience! I hope iam able to experience that in my lifetime take care- Kevin Rufe
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