HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE: JANUARY 2-11, 2018
Jan. 2 and 3 - USA to the Holy Land
Our pilgrimage begins as we depart the USA on an overnight flight. We will be welcomed at the Tel Aviv airport by a representative from Educational Opportunities and transported to our hotel to enjoy dinner before retiring for the night.
Jan. 4 - The Galilee
We will have a worship service as we sail across the Sea of Galilee. We will visit Capernaum, center of Jesus ministry in the Galilee, and visit the synagogue built on the site where Jesus taught (Matthew 4:13,23). On the Mount of Beatitudes, we will contemplate the "Sermon on the Mount" (Matthew 5-7). We will explore the Church of the Fish and the Loaves at Tabgha, traditional site of the feeding of the 5,000 (Luke 9:10-17). We will See the Chapel of the Primacy, where Peter professed his devotion three times to the risen Christ (John 21). In Magdala, once home to Mary Magdalene, we will visit a recently discovered ﬁrst-century synagogue, and recall Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist at the Jordan River.
Jan. 5 - Cana, Nazareth, Tel Megiddo & Caesarea
Here we will visit the Franciscan Wedding Chapel in Cana, site of Jesus’ ﬁrst miracle, before continuing on to Nazareth, Jesus’ boyhood home (Matthew 2:23). Look out over Tel Megiddo (Armageddon) to view one of the most important archaeological sites in Israel. Today’s last stop is Caesarea, a center of the early Christians where an angel visited Cornelius, the ﬁrst Gentile believer (Acts 10), and where Paul was imprisoned for two years before appealing to Caesar.
Jan. 6 - Jericho, Qumran & Mount of Olives
As we stop in Jericho to view the ruins of the city conquered by Joshua (Joshua 6:1, 2, 20), in the distance you can also see the traditional site of the Temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4:1—11). We will then continue to Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947. We will end our day with a group picture taken from the Mount of Olives, where Jesus ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9-12).
Jan. 7- Jerusalem & Bethlehem
In Bethlehem, visit the cave revered as Jesus’ birthplace and see the Church of the Nativity constructed over the site (Matthew 1:18- 25). Gaze out over Shepherds’ Field before returning to Jerusalem. Pray in the Garden of Gethsemane and envision the scenes of the night before Jesus’ cruciﬁxion (Matthew 26:36 - 44). Continue to Mount Zion to visit the House of the High Priest Caiaphas, where Jesus was questioned the night of His betrayal (Matthew 26:57). Meditate on the events of the Last Supper as you visit the traditional location of the Upper Room (Mark 14:12—26).
Jan. 8 - Jerusalem & the Old City
Walk the Cardo, the ancient main street of the Old City. Explore ancient Jerusalem at the Teaching Steps and the Western Wall. View the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus performed the Sabbath miracle (John 521-18). Sing a hymn in the Church of St. Anne and experience its rich acoustics. Visit Herod’s Antonia Fortress, where Jesus appeared before Pontius Pilate (Luke 23:1), and follow in Christ’s steps on the Via Dolorosa ("the Way of the Cross"). At the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, take time to reﬂect on His sacriﬁcial love.
Jan. 9 - Leisure Day (Masada/Dead Sea Option)
Today you have free time to explore on your own or you may choose to visit Masada and the Dead Sea (additional charge). Ascend by cable car to Masada, Herod’s legendary mountaintop fortress which became the last desperate stronghold of the Jewish Zealots against the Romans. You can still look down on the remains of the Roman camps and the siege ramp below. End your day with a dip in the salt and mineral-laden waters of the Dead Sea.
Jan. .10 - Jerusalem
Travel to Ein Karem, birthplace of John the Baptist and where Mary visited Elisabeth (Luke 1:26—40). Explore the poignant exhibits of Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial. Visit the Garden Tomb for a time of reﬂection and communion.
Jan. 11 - Return to the USA or Enjoy an Extension.