Holy Land 2023 (Penny)

Zaid explaining mosaic at Bethany, baptism site on Jordan’s side of the river

Favorite Memories

Imagine a band of pilgrims gathered around the giant pottery font full of clarified water from the Jordan River. We have come full circle, having prayed with our larger group the week before from the other side in Israel.

This was a spontaneous service. One of us read about John the Baptist—John 1:19-28—then two of us led singing three verses of “Come thy Fount of every Blessing.” Again, unexpectedly, the call came up at the end, “Remember your baptism,” and we all sprinkled each other. What was next? Why, the Passing of the Peace, of course….undirected and unscripted. You might have thought we were Baptists ourselves.

And then, they were like magnets, more that half of us, stripped our feet and stepped down the slippery steps to the cool, muddy water again. Not predicted, as I had done this already, for Heaven’s sake, from the other side.

Zaid says Jordanians are discussing changing their country’s name to the “Kingdom of Peace.” I can imagine it. I am feeling hopeful as we drive toward Queen Aliah Airport in Amman to fly home.

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