I just returned yesterday from Israel. It's impossible to put into words everything that you see, smell, learn, eat, and experience. And the people who you share that experience with. Israel had been peripherally on my travel radar screen for a while. It's the "Holy Land," so I assumed that I would get there eventually. It was great to share the trip with other friends (new and old) my age. We can handle the heat. We can handle the ancient stairs. The cobblestones. The wine. We were the masters of the before dinner and/or after dinner happy hour at every place we stayed. I'm going to try, in the next few days, to do a post for each day of our trip. There's a lot to remember. Pictures. Jokes. Stories. Verses from Scripture. History. Israel is considered holy land for the three major world religions. Orthodox Jews praying at the Western Wall. The Muslim call to prayer. Christians weeping as they touched the the rock where Jesus had laid at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Our guide, Peter, was fantastic. He has an unique perspective on Israel having grown up there, in the minority, as an Arab Christian. His knowledge of ancient history and what is in the news today helped us understand Israel so much better than someone who would just say "this is a famous _______ and people believe it means _____." And we didn't have to wear matching hats, orange vests, or follow someone carrying a giant stuffed flower in the air.
You need to see Israel for yourself. Reading about it isn't the same. Looking at pictures is nice, but it doesn't put you there, feet in the Sea of Galilee, where so much of our Christian history began.