The River Jordan

Trip Start Mar 31, 2010
Trip End Apr 10, 2010

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Flag of Israel  , Northern District,
Saturday, April 3, 2010

We arrive at the point where the Jordan River flows out of the Sea of Galilee and continues until it flows into the Dead Sea.  Though John the Baptist probably baptised farther south towards the desert, on the Eastern shore of the Jordan ("across the Jordan"), this place is prepared to receive many pilgrims who wish to receive Baptism in the Jordan River. We enter through a courtyard walled by tiles in many languages citing the passage of the Baptism of Jesus, recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

The place is like a little forest, full of nature's creatures:  otters, large fish, bright blue birds... the kids have a blast with the otters. Close by there is a Baptism by immersion being celebrated. Several of us also collect water from the Jordan to take home with the water from the Sea of Galilee.

Here in this serene spot by the Jordan River, we renew our Baptismal promises. Afterwards there is some free time to walk around, so I go sit on a nice bench overlooking the river to enjoy the view. For a long time it is nice and quiet, just the birds chirping among the trees... In the midst of all that stillness, a sudden breeze blows towards me, soft, yet striking at the same time. It kind of startles me, it feels as if it were the Breath of God. 

I smile, recalling when Jesus says,

"The wind  blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." (Jn 3:8)

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