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Finding Our Way – The Jesus Trail – Day 2

Checking my Twitter feed after dinner yesterday I was reminded that Rush kicked off their 40th anniversary-pretty-much-last tour last night in Tulsa. I’ll be seeing them in July when they make their final stop in Denver, and while I don’t know what the set list looks like, one of the songs that came to mind as we set out on our hike today was “Finding My Way:”

I’ve been gone too long,

I’ve lost count of the years.

Well I sang some sad songs,

and I cried some bad tears.

Feels like forever since I’ve been home even though it’s not been two weeks yet, and while we haven’t been singing bad songs or crying bad tears, we did spend the day trying to figure out how to find our way in the midst of an often-confusing, somewhat taxing, and thoroughly interesting hike.

Some of the hike out of Nazareth.

Some of the hike out of Nazareth.

We left Nazareth at about 8:00 in the morning with the first part of the hike consisting of a serious climb to the top of the city before descending down into a valley. The “trail” at this point is actually more like an exercise in “find the blazes”–those orange and white painted marks on telephone poles, rocks, and the occasional bus stop that show the way of the Jesus trail. We had a guide with us on the first part of the hike, which was helpful since some of those blazes were creatively placed.

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My Feet Unto a Lamp – Jesus Trail Day 1

imageOK, so technically we didn’t “hike” the Jesus Trail today but we did receive our orientation to the trail this morning and also found out that an older German couple will be hiking on the same itinerary. They are very nice (he’s a travel agent checking out the trail so that he can push more German tourists this way) but they also tend to walk very slow which, if you know me well, is a challenge for me. As one of my colleages once said, “You walk like your hair’s on fire,” which could be why I don’t have any more. We’ll be hiking with them with a guide on the first day since getting out of Nazareth can be tricky navigation-wise. I will do my best not to run circles around the formation.

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“I Pulled Into Nazareth…” The Jesus Trail – Day 0

After 10 great days of touring with people from TLUMC and others from my friend Chris Howlett’s church in Lebanon, KY, Chris and I said goodbye to the group last night and today headed for Nazareth and the start of the Jesus Trail. We’ll be hiking the 40 miles between here and Capernaumimage on the Sea of Galilee, following in the footsteps of Jesus during his ministry in the region.

We began this morning with a little more time in Jerusalem and began with the Ramparts Walk, which takes you up on the walls of the Old City and allows you to circumnavigate most of the top of the defensive wall built by Suleiman the Magnificent, the 16th century Ottoman emperor. One of the things you learn quickly here is that everything historical consists of layers that go from the present day on the surface all the way down to some of the original walls built in the Old Testament period, like the walls we saw in the Jewish Quarter that were built by King Hezekiah of Judah. You have to look down through a hole in the street to see them. It’s helpful to keep in mind how each successive period in the city’s history builds one upon the other–same stones, different day and arrangement.

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Sherlock Goes to Emmaus

Luke 24:13-35

sherlock1680x1050One of the things I love to do when I have a little down time is to binge watch a good TV show on Netflix—not that that happens often given my schedule and due to the fact that “good TV show” is actually more of an oxymoron these days (emphasis on the “moron”). Still, there are some gems to be had and one of these shows has not only captured me but the whole family—it’s the BBC’s updated version of the Sherlock Holmes stories starring the marvelous British actor Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role along with Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson. Each episode is an hour and a half, almost like a movie, and it’s twists and turns are mind blowing.

Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock has had a revival of late, with the movies starring Robert Downey Jr. and the show “Elementary” on CBS. Sherlock has always been a bit of mess personally, “a high functioning sociopath” as the BBC’s Sherlock is quick to admit, but what captivates me about him is the fact that his mind is always seeing things that others miss. As Doyle’s Sherlock puts it in the novels, “A man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.”

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Simon of Cyrene: The Cross-Bearing Life

The cross-bearing life of the Christian isn’t a theory about which we have opinions, it is a way of life in which we learn by experience.

Mark 15:21-24

fender-benderLiving as we do on the I-25 corridor between Denver and Colorado Springs, rarely does a week go by when we are not stuck in some kind of traffic slowdown for an inexplicable reason. Traffic slows nearly to a halt and then, almost as quickly as it stopped, it breaks loose again so that the interstate resumes its resemblance to a NASCAR race.

One of the main reasons for these instant slowdowns is rubbernecking. A fender bender on the side of the road, someone getting pulled over, will cause people to slow down and take a look. Occasionally it’s more serious—a real accident with police, fire, and ambulance on scene. We naturally slow down to look, wanting to know what happened but also being glad that it didn’t happen to us.

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