In the midst of this the Holiest of weeks, I offer these two photographs I took on our most recent time spent in the Holy Land. Both places connect me deeply to the life and power of Jesus.
Jerusalem - The place on that fateful dark Friday in which Jesus breathed his last breath, giving himself up wholly and completely for us. But it's also the place in which the glorious dawn came on that Sunday morn, when he breathed in life anew...a victorious glorious life in which we now are invited to join.
Or, as Colossians 3: 3-4 tells us, we get "…to have our life hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."
We get to have our life grafted into Jesus' resurrected life - his whole, complete, perfect life... because of what Jesus did on the cross, in Jerusalem, on that dark Friday.
And Galilee- It's Jesus stomping ground. It's the common everyday life of the common everyday people of the time of Jesus. There's nothing grand or fancy, but rather working fishing villages along the shores of the commerce center of the region. It was his home and where most of his miracles and the majority of his teachings took place.
Scripture tells us during Jesus' last supper with his squad (as my son Casey so perfectly described the disciples just this morning on our hike) he told them, "...after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee." And then we hear from the angel during his encounter with the women at the empty tomb that Jesus would meet those dearest to him in Galilee.
After the most powerful, profound, gracious, awe-inspiring act of all human history, Jesus wanted to be back in the smallness and simplicity of those fishing villages with his people. No royalty. No pomp and circumstance. Just with his friends around a cookfire along the shore where he first began his ministry. It's the small and normal, everyday life that Jesus wants to enter into with us. And where He wants us to reflect all of his glory.
Galilee is a place that draws me to one of the most important questions I need to be asking of myself on the regular: How am I living out the simplicity and humble love of Jesus right here in my own home, with my neighbor across the street, with my family and friends up the road? As Dorothy Day reminds me so simply and eloquently in her book, “Reckless Love,”
"Do not be afraid of being the least, and doing the little things..."
In our ministry with Young Life Amicus, we’re in the midst of some seemingly pretty big tasks and responsibilities. We're in need of 20 more families to host our European students for the next school year. I was told this week by a very trusted and wise voice in my life, that I'm carrying a holy weight, and it's the small but profound disciplined rhythms I walk daily with Jesus that keep my eyes focused on him and not the bigness of my role in Young Life. The prayer, the reflections, the learning, the listening to the still, quiet voice; time spent being authentic with those closest to me, the soul care. And that, I think, is one of the best ways to live a life - a simple, small, ordinary day, hidden with Christ in God.