For thousands of years, pilgrims have spoken of their desire to “go up” to Jerusalem.
They weren’t kidding.
Our travel day toward the ancient holy city was all about ascent.
That much was clear within minutes of leaving our prior base at the Dead Sea. Near the water’s edge, we were at the lowest spot on earth: nearly 1,300 feet below sea level.
30 minutes later (by bus), I was astonished to see the reading on my iPhone’s altimeter:
And by the end of our travels, we were higher still:
Yet, as far as we’d ascended, the journey was not yet done.
The last segment, we noted to our considerable dismay, had to be taken on foot…up through the Jaffa Gate, into the Old City. In the process, we learned that (among other things) Jesus was a practical man. He counseled us to “take nothing for the journey.” Still, we make our entry into Jerusalem heavy-burdened:
We go up. And what do we go up to see?
An experience of the Holy One, Who rends our hearts and lifts our heavy burdens…by coming down.
Come, Lord Jesus. Come!
Let us remember that we are in the presence of the Holy and Merciful One.