“What a Trip!”

Read: Luke 5:1-11

The last Midweek Meditation I wrote was on April 25.  Since then I have had the incredible opportunity of visiting the places in Israel where Jesus himself walked, taught, healed, and provided the way of salvation to all people.  I can’t thank my church family enough for supporting me financially and spiritually in this wonderful opportunity!

I traveled with a tour organized by John Walsh and Bible Telling ministries (www.bibletelling.org).  We miraculously visited over 50 Biblical sites in 10 days and heard over 170 Biblical stories told by professional storytellers from those sites. It was a tour of the Holy Lands like no other!  I also had the privilege of experiencing this with my father who made the trip with me.

Since I have been back I have been asked many times, “What was the best or most moving place from your trip?”  That’s a hard question to answer because each day there was an experience that was as unique and meaningful as the day before.  Sure, there were a few that stand out, like standing on the sea of Galilee and thinking about this passage from Luke 5.

As our group took our shoes off and waded out into the water where this calling of the first disciples took place, it was impossible not to break out in song.  We sang several songs, but one song really stood out to me.  In the song “There’s something about that name,” there is a line that says, “Kings and Kingdoms will all pass away, but there’s something about that name (Jesus)!”

We had seen many ruins of past kings and kingdoms but they had all passed away and there were mainly stones left to mark their long ago existence.  But, the name, the power, the ministry of Jesus lives on!  When he called those first disciples on that shore it was just the first of millions who would be called to follow him and be his disciples (followers).

The main reason a trip like this is so powerful is because it reminds you of the power of God that is still alive in our world through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  Ages will pass away, stones will crumble, but the Good News of salvation for all people is still alive, and this was the place where it all started or happened. All I can say is, “What a trip!”

For those interested in hearing more about my trip, I will be sharing my many pictures and experiences at Arthur Mennonite Church, 710 E. Park St., Arthur, IL on Sunday night, May 27 at 6:00 pm.  I promise I will not share all 1,200 pictures.
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Make it personal:  In John 20 the disciple Thomas had to see the nail marks in Jesus’ hands to believe that he had risen from the dead.  After that Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  Not everyone will get the chance to see the Holy Lands in their lifetime, but even so, blessed are those who believe!

Have a great week,
Glen Rhodes, Minster of Discipling and Community Life
Arthur Mennonite Church