July 7, 2011

The Never-ending Story

No this post is not about Falkor and Atreyu...even though I love that movie. It's about the never ending story that is my Israel trip.

I thought I was doing so well but was going through my pics today to see how many were left...and there were a lot. I need to hurry it up. Little less talk, a lot more action. So if you have questions, please ask and I will answer in the comment section.

As you can tell, i love talking about this trip. If fact, if you would like a private showing with pics and full explanation, just let me know. I will make house-calls for a very minimal fee ;-)

Okay. Today we are going to travel to the weird and wacky Jordan River.  I know, I know. Weird and wacky are not the words you first think of when contemplating the Jordan River.

I was contemplating baptism. Turns out you don't have to do anything special to be baptized Just pay the fee, get a white robe and jump in.


Even the muskrats were welcome.

It was interesting to watch all the different ways people were baptized. Some by immersion, some by sprinkling, some just stuck their faces in, some washed their legs and arms, some just kinda stood there knee deep, babies where dunked up to their chests...a whole variety.

And there were hundreds of people waiting. It was a pretty amazing sight. 

It was also "interesting" to watch everyone just strip down and change right there on the bank. I decided that they were European ;-) Kinda distracts from the reverence a bit...

There was, of course, a lovely visitor's center (with gift shop) where you could rent a white robe.

And outside there was a courtyard with this scripture in about a hundred languages. I liked that.

Okay, there is the wacky part, for me. And please don't think that I am mocking anyone. I'm not. These people being baptized are devout, good people who truly believe that being baptized here is very special. And I respect that.

But here's my take. I guess i'm cynical or not sentimental enough...Or just a brat.

Christ was actually baptized in the Jordan River miles upstream near Bethany, next to the border on the Jordanian side...and they aren't sure they've found all of the mines in the fields around it...we didn't go there.

I'm guessing the river has changed just a bit in the past 2000 years...so who knows where anything really happened.

I know, it's symbolic. I get it. But the river is really dirty. And it's not in the same place Christ was baptized. And I guess I feel like baptism should be important for reasons beyond where it takes place. And waiting in line for hours with hundreds of strangers... doesn't seem special to me.

Too deep for a Friday? Sorry. I'm done now. See nice and short-ish!


Jayne said...

Never ending story? Well I certainly hope so.

Jerusalem is not on my bucket list, just because I'm not sure if I'll ever make it and lists that I can't check off are the bane of my existence. Amen.

Jayne said...

What I meant to keep saying in that there comment above, is that since I'm possibly never going there myself, I'm thoroughly enjoying your journaling of it. You're doing a super good job, Kate!