When I was given the opportunity to travel to Israel with the RCA, I came with big expectations.
By Sara Gregory
When I was given the opportunity to travel to Israel with the RCA, I came with big expectations. I expected to walk where Jesus walked and be renewed in feelings of adoration and awe. I expected to learn about culture and to experience Scripture in vibrant ways. I had very specific ways I wanted that to happen. But as seems to be characteristic of our God, he blessed me more and in different ways than I expected.
We were given free time in the synagogue where Jesus quoted and claimed fulfillment of prophecy in Isaiah (Luke 4:18-19). I sat quietly waiting for some wave of emotion or Spirit-movement to wash over. Instead, I heard God’s still small voice whisper, “Where is life?” I started remembering Scripture that spoke of God’s image being reflected in his people and of our being the temple of the Holy Spirit. I was suddenly overwhelmed with the thought that I could experience abundantly more of the character and image of God in any person I come into contact with, even in the thrift store I work at in Iowa, than I could by standing in any of these places.
That moment impacted the rest of the trip. We met Palestinians who were being oppressed and Israelis who were living in fear. We met Christians struggling to live their faith in a place where that is very complicated and difficult to do. And I kept hearing God’s reminder: “Where is life? Will you love me in the people you see in front of you?”
Sara Gregory is a member of the Bridge in Des Moines, Iowa.