To the Land of Milk and Honey: My visit to the Holy Land

12:46 PM Marcellino DAmbrosio 0 Comments

 Part One. Mount of the Ascension

To start this off, I should first let you know that this probably not going to be the funniest post I’ve ever written, but I hope that you’ll enjoy this sharing of experience nonetheless.  This was not the first time I’ve ever been to the Holy Land. I went once when I was twelve, and once with my family four years ago. It’s hard to count my trip back in my childhood, seeing as all I really got from it was a vague feeling of boredom and an unbridled anger at Shabbat elevators, which stop at every floor. (Pushing buttons is “work” as specifically outlined in Leviticus.) My trip four years ago was amazing, but very different. The Lord used it to bring us closer as a family, and allowed me and my brothers to express ourselves in ways we never had before. We snuck off from the group at every opportunity to do such things as play “Prepare the Way at the birthplace of John the Baptist, and play “I Like Weather” on the Ruins of Mount Tabor (where the Lord was transfigured). That was a time of great growth joy, and almost homecoming for us, as the Father really affirmed the talents and eccentrically wild personalities of two of his sons. 

My boys, my boys. 

This trip was very different. It was different in three ways. Firstly, I was at a different place in my relationship with God. Second, I was not distracted by my family and spent a lot of time alone, taking it all in. Finally, I was in a place of responsibility in leading the group. These things made this trip dramatically different. Not better, not worse, just different. 
Those of you who know me know that last year was a really difficult year for me. Jesus humbled me a lot. My graduation was not a time of expectation but disaster. So this Advent I was beseeching heaven to not become that cynical old guy that tells kids that Santa isn’t real and that they’ll never be a power ranger.   Also that he would give me new purpose and revelations of his will for me. That remained my prayer when I arrived at the mount of the Ascension.

After leading the group in worship, I popped in my headphones, pushed play on Sigur Ros, and blotted out all of the tourists talking and snapping of pictures. I then read the great commission at the very spot it was given.  With the palm of my hand resting on the last stone that Jesus ever touched, I read:

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I am with you always, even to the ends of the earth.”
– Matthew 28:16-20
I felt the Lord’s presence there with me in a very real way. I felt peace, and for the rest of the trip I felt Him lifting my burdens.

Prayer  #1 answered. 

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