To see photos from Day 7 of our trip you can view them here:
These were the main stops we made along the tour on our 7th day:
Jaffa: We started our morning in the the beautiful hillside town of Jaffa. It was significant due to its port location and entryway into Jerusalem. Jaffa is infamous as the place Jonah fled and where Peter was staying when summoned by Cornelius.
The Western Wall: After our pep talk on the importance of staying close to our guide, we exited our bus to The Western Wall. We were struck by the cultural differences immediately and as we observed and asked questions we began to understand some of the religious and political tensions felt daily in Israel. The Rabbinic Tunnels proved to be another significant archeological find yet again validating Old Testament scriptures. As we separated into men and women we spent time on our own observing, reflecting and praying at the wailing wall.
Herodium: Our next stop was Herodium. While we were struck by the archeological significance, architecture and artistic displays in Herod’s summer home his identity as a megalomaniac was even more secured in our minds. From his tower we overlooked the countryside where Mary and Joseph would have walked to Jerusalem and the shepherds would have seen the heavenly hosts announcing the Messiah’s birth. What a stark contrast between Herod’s self-serving love and God’s sacrificial love.
We drove through Bethlehem in hopes of seeing the fields of the shepherds but the rain had other plans. We enjoyed the hospitality of Johnny’s souvenir store and then finally settled into our hotel in old Jerusalem.