Thursday, June 30, 2011

Holy Land Tour: River Jordan

The next day we traveled from Tiberius to Jerusalem, with several stops along the way. The first stop was at Yardenit, which is one of the sites on the Jordan River traditionally associated with the baptism of Jesus. Dave Peterson and our guide agreed that the actual spot is probably a bit north of Yardenit, and I have read that there is a site in Jordan that also claims to be Jesus' baptismal site. It wouldn't be the last time we learned about sites with competing sites!

Here is the entrance to Yardenit:

Once inside, I was struck by how much the river Jordan reminded me of the San Antonio River, particularly the area that flows through Brackenridge Park. When I was growing up in San Antonio my father drove through the park and over a small dam on the river on Sundays on our way to and from church.

There is a nice outdoor seating area by the river where we had a chance to sit down and let Dave lead us through reminders of our own baptisms.

Then we waded in the water together, holding hands while I led the group in singing "Down To the River To Pray", at their request. (I'd been busted the night before at a restaurant when someone handed me a microphone during a karaoke rendition of "God Bless America" and then became the group's song leader.) Oh, my, that was an amazing experience!

 I give my thanks --and apologies-- to Alison Krause for her interpretation of that song. Here's what it should have sounded like:

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