The Holy Land, Israel... the Mecca for Jesus People.
You either have gone or you haven't. I haven't.
I have heard testimonies from people of their "life changing experiences" when they have traveled to land where Jesus lived. They have floated in the Dead Sea; strolled the shores of Galilee where Jesus called his first disciples; they have visited the site where Jesus was born (or believed to have been born); and stood in the city of Jerusalem where the three crosses would have stood.
All of these experiences are said to have brought people closer to Christ. They have walked where Jesus walked.
Here is a result of my quick Google search
This site advertises "Affordable trips to the Holy Land" starting at only $1358.
"It's a great idea! Organizing and leading others on a trip to Israel, the land of the Bible, is one of the most rewarding and exhilarating experiences one can have. Perhaps now is the time to begin making it happen, both for you and for those you will lead."
"Do you want to share what your Faith means to you in your life with others? Simply invite a group of ten people to join you on a Holy Land Tour and your trip is free. Make this your Ministry."
"Witness the Miracle"... Wow. Aren't we a little late to witness the miracle in Israel? What miracle are they talking about? If I go to the "Holy Land" , what am I going to see that is so miraculous?
Because of things like television and the internet, I have access to a lot of footage of the sites and sounds of Israel. Others have spent the thousands of dollars to go on their pilgrimage and I have reaped the rewards of their visit by just turning on my TV or my computer.
Other than that, is there something else I am missing? The smell of a camel, the sand in between my toes, the photo opportunities...?
I have no conclusive answers... just questions.
Is it worth the two grand and more I would have to spend to get there?
Am I going to experience something that I can't get from my TV or Internet?
Will I learn more about Jesus if I go to his hometown?
Will it help me share Jesus with others?
Will it change my life?
Will it bring me closer to Jesus?
Here is a thought.
Do people have to travel to Fort St. John to get to know Ruby Neumann? Do people have to travel to the place I was born and raised to get closer to me and to know who I am?
Or... will they get to know me when they hang out with me right where I am at.
I figure, If I get a chance sometime in my life to visit "The Holy Land", then I will enjoy the adventure and take lots of pictures. Maybe even smell a camel.
But if I never get that chance, I am thankful that I don't have to go to Jesus' home town to know Him. I am glad that He made the trip to get to know me.