Friday, September 07, 2012
After returning from my first trip to Israel, when I read about Jesus entering the Temple, something happened that surprised me. For the first time, I pictured Him walking past Huldah’s tomb and entering through Huldah’s Gate as he did so. The Bible didn’t give those details—I had to see them in Israel to know they were there. And while few today may know the story about the prophetess who advised King Josiah, Jesus passed her burial place and through the gate dedicated to her memory every time He entered the temple.
That trip helped me envision both women and men together in the places I’d read about. Joppa is where Jonah set sail when he ran from God; but it’s also where Peter raised Dorcas/Tabitha. The Valley of Jezreel is where Armageddon will be fought, but it’s also where Deborah served as prophet/judge, and Jezebel met her demise. Caesarea is where Paul stood before Festus, but Bernice and her sister Drusilla listened to that defense, too. And the Jerusalem "Wailing Wall" has a section for women.
As I shared such observations with friends and readers of my Coffee Cup Bible study series, some asked for more. So I invite you to join me on a tour focusing on Women of the Word in Ephesus and Izmir (Smyrna), Turkey, and then on to various sites in Israel.
Our trip is open to anyone wanting to learn history and know God better--women and men; families of many and families of one. Imagine the pleasure of bringing your mother or daughter along. Imagine the Christmas surprise when you tell them!
College (Houston's College of Biblical Studies) or seminary (DTS) credit are available (tuition fees apply). I'll post a link soon to the DTS syllabus.
At each destination, our professional tour guide will describe the biblical and secular history surrounding it, and I will be responsible for devotional thoughts that emphasize biblical women’s lives. In Ephesus we’ll contemplate Priscilla’s contribution there and the influence of the Artemis cult. In the Valley of Jezreel we'll consider Deborah and Jezebel. In Jerusalem we’ll look toward Bethany and remember Mary and Martha; in the City of David we'll consider Bathsheba. In Nazareth, we’ll visit a working village that allows us to imagine more easily what it was like for Jesus' mother to press grapes and weave wool.
I urge you to register soon because we are limiting the number of registrants to ensure the greatest sense of community and ease of travel. Follow this link to salivate over our itinerary and register.
I hope to see you next year in Jerusalem!