Day 5 is a day of Worship

Sunday on the way of sorrows.

this was serious stuff for Riley and not a detail would be missed. We would begin with Jesus before Pilate – another bucket list place for Riley. And then we would travel to Calvary and the tomb.

we wandered the old city traveling the path and story of Jesus’ last day. Ending at the church of the holy sepulchre. There is the place of the cross … The place where Jesus was wrapped… And the tomb … Riley wants you all to know the tomb is empty — he checked!

Our guide is a member of the Greek Orthodox church adjacent to the holy sepulchre. We were able to meet her priest and were warmly greeted by members of her church as they finished services.

After a lunch break, we headed to the Western Wall for prayer and then the teaching steps for a final message for our day. These steps were where Jesus would have walked and taught. Also likely where Peter preached on Pentecost. Riley read scripture and shared a message. It was the highlight of the day according to Riley – dad thought so too.

We finished the day taking a picture Sherry and I have taken together…. Our hands on a stone from the time of Herod’s temple.

in any book that’s a good Sunday.


day 4 adventures in Israel

checking things off Riley’s list

Riley had several things he was interested in seeing. Not a surprise that his view of the story has been shaped by the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. So he was keenly interested in seeing Caphais’ house. Not quite what he expected, but he was excited to be in place where Jesus was.

the church is built over the space of the house, but the steps that Jesus would have walked are there and the pit or jail that he would have been held in still exists. The courtyard area would have been where Peter denied Jesus 3x. A humbling place to be for sure and it did not disappoint Riley.

we also visited the Upper Room that was nearby. Not much to see, but you get the idea of how close everything was that happened that week.

now we are off to Jericho where the walls fell and the Judean wilderness. We got a glimpse of the dead sea and the ruins of Jericho. And Riley rode a camel! Video is on Facebook! Riley has a new buddy too – Michelle Abel has been his go to person — sorry Dad.

oh and to top things off … Have we told you about desert every night at the Hotel?

let’s just call this a bucket list day.

Holy Land Day 3

It’s beginning to look alot like Christmas

We began our day travelling to Bethlehem. Our first stop was Nissan Brothers. A well known family with a wonderful olive wood carving factory and a store. So … We did some Christmas shopping.

with gifts in hand, we headed to Manger Square and the church of the Nativity. Riley was quite impressed to find the place where Jesus was born. And it was marked with a star!

we then went the shepherd’s field nearby. Not sure which was a bigger hit … Singing O Little Town of Bethlehem in Manager Square or Hark the Herald Angels Sing in the Chapel of the Shepherds.

That’s seems a pretty amazing day, but our last two stops were Riley’s favorites.

The Garden of Gethsemane and the Chapel of All Nations – this was a fitting stop for Christmas themed day as the chapel was built as a gift. It is built over the rock that Jesus prayed on that night in the garden. This was place was very meaningful for Riley.

As the sun was setting, we made our way to the top of the Mount of Olives. We took a group photo and took in the old city of Jerusalem as the sunset. It was spectacular and Riley was filled with joy at being in a place he had seen so many pictures of Mom and Dad being there.

While its not Christmas yet (almost), for today it sure did feel like Christmas with all the joy the day can bring.