Thursday, July 7, 2011

Streams in the desert

The Judean desert is one of the most breathtaking sights I have ever seen.

It also serves as a beautiful metaphor for the land of Israel itself. I returned from Israel over a month ago, and it's taken some time to process this trip. (Hence the lack of blog posts...) The choir did eleven concerts during our two weeks there, encouraging and fortifying messianic congregations as well as an established Arab church.

The land of Israel is lost. I think that's a misconception I had before going. I expected that my choir would be a light in a bright land. After all -- everyone knows about Jesus there, right? Everyone's worshiping God...

Wrong. As I discovered, we were more like a light in a dark land, surrounded by Jewish people who are waiting for a Messiah when He has already come, tourists who are worshiping the place rather than the God who created it, and Muslims who think that by their works they will gain access to heaven. Gazing out on the city of Jerusalem, I saw shrines to false religion, and graves placed so that they would be nearer to Messiah when He comes.

Here we were, in the midst of this dark land, proclaiming the truth. That God is loving and merciful, that Messiah has come and is living within us, that He will return again, yes, but that at that time, we should be worshiping Him for who He is.

It's like Ein Gedi, one of my favorite sites that we visited. In the midst of the dry Judean desert, this waterfall is an oasis. Streams of fresh, living water provide a chance for respite.

As we visited messianic congregations in Israel, I realized that they are that respite. They are those streams in the desert, and we were, in essence, bringing refreshment and replenishment to them. Perhaps the thrust of the tour wasn't solely evangelistic, but we fortified churches that will then go out and water the desert.

As you think about it, pray for the Christians in Israel. It's a very difficult place to be a believer, as I saw firsthand a month ago, and I wonder if many of us may have similar misconceptions. Pray that this body of believers would be streams in the desert.

With love from an absolute doll,

Erin Joy

1 comment:

  1. This post reminded me--I'm so excited to see the series of articles you have been doing on Israel for your newspaper! Chris told me about them--how exciting!