Thursday 26 September 2013

Jaffa - and Tel Aviv again



I love Jaffa. St Peter's Church, the bedsheet dream, the opening to the Gentiles, the charm of the old city. The museum and our young guide was a bonus. (Tutankhamen historical, Abraham non-existent if you go by historical evidence. The Hebrews perhaps having picked up monotheism from Egypt. The twelve layers of Jaffa. And so on.) Unfortunately, because of the Jewish feast of the Torah, many of the cafes and restaurants were closed.

The two young men who stopped by as we were singing and playing. They looked like evangelists to me, and so they were. One was from New Zealand, the other an Israeli. I asked him whether he was born Jewish. He said yes. How did you convert? Someone proposed Christ to me, he said very simply, and I began praying about it: God, I said, if Jesus is the Messiah, show it to me. And he did. I received baptism soon after. We parted with blessings. I admire the courage, the boldness, the zeal. On our side, another Jewish young man simply stopped by and joined some of our guys playing chess. That kind of boldness and simplicity is admirable too. But I guess it is not in our system to begin direct evangelizing.

All this not far from where Peter had his bedsheet dream. "Take and eat." And the gates opened to the Gentiles. Our young guide was correct: here is where Christianity stopped being a Jewish sect and became an international religion. And the presentations were excellent, and very fair, we all thought. And the Mediterranean astounding, as ever. 

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