Today was the Sabbath, celebrated here by Jews and many Christians on Saturday.
It was our most relaxing day thus far.
After breakfast, we watched a movie on Herod the Great. We then attended the worship service here at the Yad Hashemona.
We worshipped with Jewish believers and the Christians from all over the world who are staying and working here.
The worship was was in Hebrew, and the pastor preached in Hebrew but translated into English. It was an extraordinary experience to worship Jesus alongside Jewish believers. But it was as right as it was rare.
Then I looked around the room and saw people from so many different nations worshipping too. The worship experience brought tears to my eyes. What, besides the love of Jesus, can bring people from such diverse backgrounds together in love and unity? If you had been here and seen it you would never doubt the kingdom of God will prevail upon the earth.
In the evening we drove to Jaffa, where Peter stayed with Simon the Tanner and received a vision from God confirming he should take the Gospel to the Gentiles. (Acts 10). Jaffa (Joppa) is also the place where Jonah found the first ship out of town while on the run from God. (Jonah 1:1-3).
Arie mentioned that the Bible says that six times Jonah “went down” after being commanded by God to preach to Nineveh. Jonah went down to Joppa (Jonah 1:3), down into the ship (v. 3), down into the innermost parts of the ship (v. 5), down into the sea (v. 15), down into the fish (v. 17) and down to the bottom of the sea (2:5). It was only then that Jonah looked up to the Lord, prayed and was delivered. Arie said, “The moral to the story? The first time you go down, look up to the Lord. Don’t go six times down.” It’s good advice.
After a sit-down dinner of falafels and a quick stop for gelato we were back in the van and on our way back to Yad Hashemona, determined not to go down, but if we do, ready to quickly look up to the Lord. GS