“Can I get my feet in the Jordan?”
Our Jewish guide tilted his head to the side and raised an eyebrow. “Yes I suppose you can but maybe a toe…it’s not the cleanest water.”
In my mind it didn’t matter how murky the water was, I needed to feel a bit of that ‘closeness’ with Christ. The very place he was baptized by John the Baptist. Thousands of years of water has flowed through that river but in my mind I was stepping into a living font of Holy Water.
John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”
Then he allowed him. After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened [for him], and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove [and] coming upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son,* with whom I am well pleased.”
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or
Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:13
It was perfect to walk this path of Jesus’ life. We got out of the muddy waters and then headed on our way to Jerusalem. Along the road to Jerusalem (which was a two hour bus ride… imagine if it was on donkey’s…) the guide pointed out the caves along the way and I wish I would’ve taken a picture of the terrain because it is exactly what I’d pictured. Except now it wasn’t an ‘image’ in my head, it was before me. The place Christ lived. Where he traveled. Where all of our lives changed forever before we were even a thought.
I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t remember the significance of that church. Maybe one of the other pilgrims reading this can comment and tell us.
One of my favorite pictures of the trip is one that gave me a sliver of joy.
From this point we walked to the Garden of Gethsemane …which I’ll blog about next. I need to take a moment in revel in the gift of the cleansing waters of baptism.