Today we went to the extreme north in Israel. We began our journey in Ashkelon on the West Coast, then South to the Red Sea. From there we came up the Eastern boundary and today we completed our North, South, East, West quest by going into the Golan Heights. Ancient Dan, Caesarea Philippi, Golan Heights.
Today we began at the Dead Sea and moved north to Masada, the oasis of En Gedi, Qumran, Jericho and finally baptisms in the Jordan River.
From the Red Sea in Eilat we journeyed back into the wilderness to Timna and the Tabernacle of the Wilderness. From there we headed north to the Red Sea.
From the Mediterranean Coast at the ancient Philistine stronghold of Ashkelon we moved to the edge of the Negev and Beersheba. Then we plunged into the desert wandering with the Children of Israel through the Wilderness of Zin and Paran ending our day at the shore of the Red Sea where we could see Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel.
The other day I was along the Oregon coast hiking a trail I’d hiked many years ago and the vista was breathtaking but I was carrying my baby boy Ezekiel this time and that made me ever so careful along the tiny path as I listened to the crashing of the breakers a hundred feet below.
We have to be careful with our theology like that. It's ever so important for it's the path and we don't want to fall off that path...or do we?
I’ve been pondering theology for so long in search of the true formula so that every little, tiny eventuality can have a very clear and sure answer dogmatically true and orthodox. Many theologians believe this can be achieved. I don’t know that it can. Better put, I’m not smart enough to arrive there on my own. I pore over the Scriptures every single day of my life and I absolutely believe in the inherent power of the Word of God. But then there are the layers.
Layers upon layers of culture and thinking and tweaking. When one goes back and follows the line of Christian thought and life since the time of Jesus the road invariably leads to Church Councils at which point the collision of differing points of view are debated and an outcome of what is supposed to be true thought emerges.
I was as shocked as anyone when Facebook and Twitter exploded with the news in Boston. The wall to wall coverage has made the bombing as viral as it could possibly be. It’s gruesome, it’s violent and it shakes us. Badly. As we watch the story unfold in real time it makes us feel vulnerable.
It shakes our sense of security and even in our own homes we can feel weak and exposed.