Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wadi Qelt- the Wilderness

A site so stark it almost seems
 painted rather than REAL.
We walked along the cliffs of Wadi Qelt-
where a stream runs west to east 
across the Judaean Desert in the West Bank, 
originating near Jerusalem 
and terminating near Jericho, near the Dead Sea.

Down below would have been the dangerous route
 from Jericho up to Jerusalem- through Samaria.
Robbers and those looking
 for easy targets inhabited these hills.

The story of the Good Samaritan- 
was a slap in the face of any Jew- 
who knew that nothing good came out of Samaria.
But, Jesus chose this desolate spot
 to illustrate the challenging part
 of going where no one wants to go,
 and to help us "see" 
that He has come for those deserted by others,
 and seen as unworthy.
An unsafe place in Biblical times, 
and perhaps in many places still today.

a camel encounter in the desert at Nebi Mussa

View from Nebi Musa-
 the abandoned Muslim desert monastery- -
with the symbolic Palestinian-
 "tomb of Moses".
This was a stopping off place
 on their pilgrimages to Mecca.
The hills are known for the bituminous rock
 that can be burned for fuel and cooking-
 a precious commodity when in the desert.

This clear brown view helps us to understand what 40 days
 in the wilderness might have really looked like.
Close to these undulating hills is Bethany Beyond the Jordan- 
the baptismal site of Jesus.

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