We made it to Jerusalem! We're already on the last section of our time in the Holy Land--it's gone by fast.
I have to say, it was sad to leave the Sea of Galilee this morning, as it's my favorite region in Israel, but we have more adventures awaiting us here in Jerusalem, AND we had some good ones today.

This morning, we stopped at the ancient site of the city of Nazareth, Jesus' home town. The lesson was on Luke 4, starting at verse 16. Jesus was a hometown hero! The people of Nazareth loved Him.
I mean, who wouldn't love someone who got their tiny little town on the map? But then they turned around and tried to throw Jesus off a cliff because He didn't conform to their expectations of
what the Messiah would do. I can only pray that I'll be as bold as Jesus was at following God's expectations rather than human ones.

The teaching this afternoon at Caesarea (on the Mediterranean Sea) was another one that stuck out to me. In Acts 24, Paul is imprisoned in Caesarea. It seems like a great setback to him because
going around to different synagogues in different towns to preach the Gospel was kind of his thing. But when he was imprisoned, he had to stay put for 3 years!
The thing is, this 3 years wasn't a setback. God still used Paul to minister to those around him while he was in prison. In the same way, God uses us where we're at.
That's really comforting to me now, as I'm in the process of figuring out what's next for my life. It's comforting to know that wherever I end up, God will use it to His glory.
While at Caesarea, I also got to spend some time on the beach with Vicki. She loves to collect shells and I love to put my toes in the crashing waves. It was a great, quiet moment.

One thing that I have always struggled with is seeing Jesus as a fully human person. I tend to think of Him as this perfect, mild-mannered, "saintly" person who everyone would have loved,
but the fact is, yes, Jesus is God, but while He was on earth, He was also fully human. Seeing where Jesus lived. (Capernaum a few days ago and now Nazareth) helps me relate to Him
and see Him as more of a real person. Jesus was a small town kid! He came from a humble place where, I imagine, everyone knew everyone else's business and news traveled fast.
When something exciting or out-of-the ordinary was going on, the whole town showed up to see what was going on!
He also would have known what it was like to work hard and help your neighbor out. In Luke 4, we even see Jesus being rather sassy!
I want to continue exploring the human side of Jesus on the remainder of our trip.

We've got big plans in Jerusalem tomorrow, including visiting the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, and Bethlehem! So stay tuned.

God's blessings,
Erin

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