In the Beginning...
January 8, 2021, 7:00 AM

Good morning! On this eighth day of our Bible in a Year 'project', I am starting a blog that I will update almost daily, with reflections on the things that struck me, that troubled me, that I think may be helpful--who knows?? But I know that I would like to keep a record for myself, and I think it may also be helpful to others on this journey.

The last time I did a regular blog was when I traveled in Israel in 2016, and those posts remain among my favorite writings and memories. However, when I did that blog, I was hunched over a tiny ipad mini in hotel waiting rooms, or leaning up against stone walls in Jerusalem--anywhere I could get a reliable signal. I even typed out a blog entry the day I broke my wrist, which was nearly impossible, but I managed. This time, I sit in the semi-darkness of the sun about to rise, coffee close at hand, bible open, wrapped in my robe to keep warm against the winter cold. Over the year, the seasons and situations will change, but my daily routine will hopefully start just this way--coffee and scripture.

I am using a picture of the city of Jerusalem for this blog because it reminds me of the sacred city that is torn, like so many others, by ethnic and economic and religious strife. Yet it remains the biblical City on a Hill, the vision that greets pilgrims traveling to this holy place. It is all uphill on the way to Jerusalem (you will read about this in the psalms of ascent--songs sung by pilgrims on their way up to Jerusalem), and the day my group rode into Jerusalem, darkness, pouring rain and fog obscured the view that we tried so hard to see. Some of our bible readings will seem that way as well--difficult, hard to manage, perhaps even challenging to our faith at times. We will find what I found when we arrived in Jerusalem, as I got off the bus on a dark and rainy night: a recognition of beauty that still took my breath away, a hint of the places where the bible came alive for me, and an awareness that there was so much more promised than what I could see at that moment.

So maybe at the end of this, we could plan a tour of Israel together in 2022 or beyond. Maybe we too can make the journey uphill to Jerusalem, see the places where Jesus was born, where he died, and where he lived out his ministry.

But for now--it's Day 8, and I have a blog entry to write, and some days, this will be enough of an uphill battle for me, and I bet it will be enough for you too!

Blessings to all of us on the journey. God has so much stored up for us!

Mother Laurie (ML+)