Inside Israel – Notes With Love

Hi and welcome to a look inside Israel today!  I hope you don’t mind as this letter is from April 8.  J of Jerusalem shares about her Resurrection Day experiences there with family and friends.  God bless you today as you worship and pray!  Now here’s J . . .

 

Halleluyah!  He is risen INDEED…alive, and expressing His Life still!  May He be glorified and blessed as each of us follow Him according the calling with which He has called us to Himself, and may you be blessed and encouraged!
 
It is Passover, and it is also the day that the Resurrection is celebrated.  Our family has been confronted with some huge changes over this past month, and as I prayed concerning our path, I felt firmly impressed to invite my husband to come to the sunrise service in the Garden Tomb this morning.  This is unusual for a number of reasons.  For one, I was not planning to go, but even more so, my husband has not been walking with The Lord for a number of years and, were it NOT The Lord, I was really risking some ‘backlash’ by asking.  (those of you in similar situations may understand)  My husband accepted the invitation and I was further impressed to call a couple whom we love dearly, (they were elders in our fellowship when we attended as a family) and they also surprised themselves and accepted.  So, 5:30 this morning found us waiting for the first train to arrive.  Passover is a ‘high holiday, one of the three prescribed ‘pilgrim feasts’ when all of Israel is commanded to come up to Jerusalem and present ourselves to God there (here).’  The inbetween days (the week between the first sedar and the final sedar) are called ‘col h’mo’ed, and although children are off from school and many places of business close down or operate ‘half time’ they are also normal working days for many others (me included.  I work tomorrow).  This first train was already pretty full of sleepy workers heading off to their jobs…we felt like infiltrators!  The garden tomb is located near the old city toward the east, and we got off train at Damascus gate and walked,  joining throngs that seemed to appear from nowhere, streaming in through the narrow stone opening to the garden.  Over the entry to the tomb itself is the sign that reads “He is not here-He has risen”, and that is why we had gathered!  If it were NOT for the empty grave, the triumph over not ‘only’ sin, but death, our salvation would be questionable…but it is sure!  Death does NOT have the final word…does not have the victory…and is not a door closing after us, but a door opening!  Halleluyah!  We sat and stood and sang and prayed with people representing more then 60 nations, faces shining, listening to the message of Life, and as the birds sang their morning song and the leaves and flowers were bursting open, I saw again, the stirrings of THE SPIRIT at work in my family and I was encouraged to remember that there simply IS no mountain too large for Him.  He IS God over EVERY situation!  I want to encourage you as you encourage me.  Isn’t that how it is: we press on encouraging one another. 
 
We left the service and enjoyed coffee with our friends, speaking of the way that The Lord has brought our families.  We kept stopping to greet friends and neighbors and my husband commented on how many friends we have made in the nearly 18 years since we arrived.  We moved on from there to have breakfast with Alaskan friends, here for a tour and visit…and again we were ministered to as a family, hands and arms strengthened, hearts encouraged.  So many verses run though my mind.  I think of my life ‘before’ and how ‘fellowship’ like this was perhaps THE most prominent part of our daily lives.  Since coming here and working in the world as well, fellowship is so rare, so precious, a true gift.  I am more thankful then I can express!  I was very interested to hear our Alaskan friends share their impressions after their first tour of Israel (for most of them).  A number of them felt the ‘pressure’ here, and the ‘urgency’ of life. We were so encouraged through the ministry of the body to us! 
 
And before we knew it we were out on the street again.  Pressing our way back to the apartment through traffic I remembered ruefully that I must work tomorrow.  Reluctant to enter into the ‘fast lane’ again, I tried to savor the richness that the day’s fellowship had brought to me and the nurture the newly rekindled spark glowing in my husband.  A neighbor knocked on the door to borrow some matzo meal…I had to run to the store for something to put in my lunch for tomorrow.  Keeping the gifts from The Lord can only be done through pouring them out, and I must do that in the morning…go back on the bus and the train; answer the phones at work, may I do it with the grace given to me, although I am reluctant to and would rather just stay here and savor them. 
 
Well, perhaps this is not a very ‘inspirational Resurrection note to you’, but who am I anyway except a friend who speaks from her heart, and this is me, speaking from my heart to my friends.  Thank you for being one in the body for His kingdom that really IS eternal!  And, oh yes…I did see the tomb today and it IS empty!  Lovingly, your sis.
ani b’derek
Published in: on April 15, 2012 at 6:16 am  Comments (8)  
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8 Comments

  1. Awesome! I enjoyed the letter from Israel very much!
    God Bless You!

  2. Thank you, Deb-who-bridges.

    What a beautiful picture J has created! I felt like I was right there in the Garden having that Mary experience 🙂

    I may never get to see TheTomb, but I look forward to the day when my eyes will behold The Risen Christ. He lives!!!

    (And yes, I am inspired!)

    Blessings,
    ann

  3. He Lives – more voices plus lyrics:-)

  4. “…perhaps this is not a very ‘inspirational Resurrection note to you…”

    For me, this is one of my favorite letters. So inspirational to see how God is working in families.

  5. Oh Lady D . . thank you so much for coming by and reading. I’m glad you liked it! J just blesses me with what she shares and how she shares. 🙂 Praying that your weather isn’t too severe right now! God bless you and your love of Him!

  6. Love you, inspired Ann! I’m like you, and am so blessed and feel like I’m there with J when she writes about Jerusalem. 🙂 Thank you for our song! Sharing with J now!!!

  7. Oh now we are doubly blessed! 🙂 You are indeed God’s DJ! Praying you are able to sing soon, as much as your soul sings!
    God bless you abundantly as you worship Him today! Thank you!

  8. Larry, I agree! I love seeing Him at work in individual lives.It inspires me big time! God bless you as He keeps you inspired and looking for Him!


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