from the land of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
from the land flowing with milk and honey,
from the land of Joshua, Caleb, the Judges, and Samuel,
from the land of the United Kingdom, Saul, David, and Solomon,
from the land of the Divided Kingdom, Israel to the north, Judah to the south,
from the land exiled by the Assyrians and the Babylonians,
from the land rebuilt by Zerubbabel and Nehemiah,
from the land where John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:21), and
from the land where Jesus said, “Follow me” (Matthew 4:19).
Greetings from Israel!
In the last ten days we have visited 25 national parks and many other locations.
We started in Jerusalem,
traveled East to the Jericho Overlook, the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, and Masada,
traveled South to the Arad, Beersheba, and wondered in the Wilderness of Tsin,
traveled West to the Shephelah and the Ailajon, Sorek, Eluh, Guvrin, and Lachish Valleys,
traveled North to Mount Carmel, Nazareth, Capernaum, Sea of Galilee,
all the way to Dan, Caesarea Philippi, and Mount Herman.
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. (Luke 9:51)
As I write this letter we are following the Jordan River down to Jericho and over to Jerusalem. The final days of this class will be spent in Jerusalem as we tour sites, visit museums, and finish lectures.
This fall in Bible Study I will unpack some of these locations. We will explore the geography of this Biblical land, and we will see through the scriptures the impact geography has upon our understanding of scripture.
Please plan to join me Sunday mornings!
Until then, may God’s holy angels continue to watch over you and me.
I cannot simply express the impact that touring this land has had upon me, and I am grateful to the Seminary, our congregation, my family, and those who financial contributed to make this trip possible. I pray the knowledge and experiences I have gained will positively impact my teaching and preaching.
God Bless, Pastor Hartwig