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It’s February: the shops full of hearts and roses. I wonder if you’re doing anything special on 14th February? I am - with my lovely husband - plus 31 others! On Valentine’s Day we’re travelling to Luton in advance of our Saturday flight to the Holy Land! It’s such an exciting privilege, once again, to visit this beautiful, challenging, complex land.

It’s been said that being able to walk where the historic events of Jesus’ life took place is the 5th Gospel, bringing the familiar Bible stories alive in amazing ways. We start in Galilee, including Nazareth, where the landscape hasn’t really changed that much in 2000 years. We then head south, following the River Jordan, to Jerusalem, a large modern city far changed from Jesus’ day; yet within the old city are glimpses of its ancient heart: a vibrant melting pot of peoples and faiths. From there we’ll have the chance to head into the wilderness and float in the Dead Sea! Our pilgrimage ends in Bethlehem, confronted by the site of Jesus’ birth; confronted by the realities of life for Palestinians today.

Of course I can’t predict exactly what we’ll experience, how we’ll feel and the impact on each of us, but if previous visits offer any indication, it’ll be life-changing. So, when you see me, feel free to ask - no doubt there’ll be lots to tell and many photos! 

Valentine’s or not, this trip celebrates love - the eternal love of God for all, supremely revealed in Jesus, born in Bethlehem, raised in Nazareth, killed and given new life in Jerusalem. Love anchored in history, in Israel/Palestine; love for you and I, in 2020, in Perton.

Rev'd Julia

Feb 2020

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