Holy Land Pilgrimage Off to Good Start

(Photo courtesy of Tim Timmons)
This sign showed progress on the excavation of old Nazareth.

The biggest thing I’m being asked is what’s our first impression of the Holy Land. Four words.

Jet. Lag. Is. Real.

The time difference is seven hours, so when we arrived at 7 a.m. Hoosier time, it was already midafternoon in Tel Aviv. Got to say though, the folks at Delta treated us very well and other than some less-than-friendly TSA agents in Boston (for which I blame the New England Patriots), the service, flights and food were all good.

But that jet lag thing made Sunday kind of a lost day. None of us, my wife, sister-in-law and me, slept well. But by Monday morning we were ready to go.

And what a day Monday was. We began in Old Town Jaffa, believed to be the oldest port city in the world. The apostle Peter spent time here, as did Jonah, as in Jonah and the whale. We toured the Church of St. Peter and left not long after for Caesara, the capital of Judea under the Romans.

We also learned that it was the first day of the World Cup – something we saw evinced multiple time with people celebrating in the streets here.

We also learned that during excavations in Ceasara, the names Pontius Pilate and Herod were found, historically documenting their time there.

From there we headed to Nazareth, Megiddo (the site for the final battle of Armageddon), Mt. Carmel and of course the Mediterranean.

(Photo courtesy of Tim Timmons)
This was the setting son Monday over Megiddo, the site for Armageddon.

Breathtaking doesn’t begin to describe.

At one point I was standing on an overlook, Megiddo straight in front of me and Jerusalem a little off to the side. To think about the coming battle that will take place at the end of days filled me with a sense of awe and wonder.

Actually, the whole day did.

At Nazareth, we walked through the Church of the Annunication, a shrine devoted to the Virgin Mary. As if that wasn’t neat enough, underneath was an excavated area of Nazareth dating back to the time Jesus Christ walked the streets. He spent 25 years or so in Nazareth. It’s not a stretch to think we could well have been looking at where the son of God walked.

The pilgrimage continues tomorrow with a trip to the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights and the place where Jesus said, “On this rock I will build my church.”

Sagamore News Media’s Tim Timmons is on a pilgrimage to Israel and the Holy Land. He will be writing occasionally during the trip. Timmons can be contacted at ttimmons@thetimes24-7.com.