Tuesday, December 14, 2010


For many people, visiting Israel is a pilgrimage in which they get close to God. That was not the case for me. There are several reasons for this.

  1. I am a Holy Spirit person. The Holy Spirit lives in me, so I can talk to him wherever I am, whether I am in the shopping mall or in Jerusalem. I do not need to go to a special place to get close to him.

  2. Many years ago when I resigned from being a church minister, one of the main reasons was that I hated the religious system that dominates so much of the church. The problem in Israel is that every place of spiritual significance has a church or mosque plonked on it. Some places have a couple of churches from different denominations in contest with each other. Jerusalem must be the most religious place in all the world. The mosques cry out on the hour prayer and the churches challenge back with their loudly ringing bells and the orthodox Jews block their ears to voice of the "goyim".

  3. The religious tourists are everywhere. Great queues pressing in to touch a holy stone. Other groups videoing themselves worshipping on the Sea of Galilee or walking the Via Dolorosa carrying a cross.

I had some great spiritual experiences in Israel. The highlight was being led to be in the right place at the right time to meet and help someone that I did not expect to meet. But that kind of thing can happen anywhere, if I keep walking in the Spirit.

I also enjoyed getting a better understanding over the lay out of the land. I now have a better idea of the distance Mary walked when going from Nazareth to Bethlehem. The last, long climb up into Bethlehem would have be really tough for a woman coming into labour.

I enjoyed staying beside the Sea of Galilee and getting a perspective on the distances between Nazareth, Bethsaida, Capernaum and other places that Jesus visited. It was interesting seeing the hills where he withdrew to pray. I can now understand better why he crossed the lake in a boat.

Visiting Israel was a good learning experience, but it was not a pilgrimage. Walking in the spirit is an everyday, everywhere pilgrimage that nothing else can match.


Christian said...

Your insights are a blessing to read Ron.

Ron McK said...