Today we started at the Temple in Jerusalem and walked the tunnel over Herod's road along the western wall. You would think that everything that could have been found about the Temple would have been discovered already but archeologists are continually excavating and finding more. After all the Temple has been subject to centuries of destruction, burial and excavation along with periods of re-construction.
We followed the traditional stations of the cross. Tradition has 14 events whereas Scripture only records less than half that number. There are two divergent opinions for the direction of the Via Dolorosa but there are several known exact spots of Jesus' walk.
Praying at the Wailing Wall was an emotional experience to ask for God's blessing at the place He had determined for His people to pray. Sitting on the very steps where Jesus would have taught at the Temple and where Peter preached the first Gospel sermon and to see where the 3000 were baptized was thrilling.
The last part of the day we visited Bethlehem which is under Palestinian Authority. It was great to see the shepherd's fields where the angel announced Jesus' birth. Still today the most ordinary people (the bedouins) are the shepherds. God came for all people. At the church of the Nativity we saw the stone manger in the cave where the local Christians have prayed since the days of Jesus, because they understood it to be His birthplace.
We have stepped back in time visiting these places but still we have been following the One who transcends all time and meets us where we are.