A Guest Post From Rev. Hans Weichbrodt
I will never forget my first visit to Capernaum.
As we drove close to the 2000 year old ruins we could see the lake of Tiberius on our right hand side. It was an almost surreal experience to be looking at the very same lake that is mentioned so often in the Gospels. This was the lake that had witnessed the Son of God walking on its surface!
As I looked around on the coastline and the gentle green slopes I realized that everything I was looking at was in the vicinity of where Jesus Christ had walked, taught and healed thousands upon thousands of people.
When we came into the area of the ancient ruins of Capernaum, the guide led us to a spot that seemed to grab every visitor´s attention. People stood around in rapt attention, gazing on this place with wonder.
With contagious enthusiasm, the guide told us that we were looking at ruins that archeologists from around the world believe is from the apostle Peter´s house. At this very spot, Jesus healed,
taught, prayed and broke bread. I was standing right where this all took place.
This was in 1993 but I still remember it like it was yesterday. I just stood there in awe and looked and looked at the stones the guide had pointed to. I was profoundly moved in my spirit. It’s as though the very rocks were crying out, “Hans, this is holy ground!”
To visit the Holy Lands where Biblical history actually took place is a tremendous privilege for every Christian. To travel to these countries as a pilgrim is an incredible opportunity to grow spiritually, and to become revitalized in faith.
Whether you are walking the temple steps in Jerusalem where Jesus walked, standing on Mars Hill in Athens where Paul preached or meditating on the Island of Patmos where John received Jesus’ revelation, your heart will never be the same. You will never read the scriptures the same way again. You will have a ‘sense of place’ as you turn the pages of God’s Word.
For me every visit to every Biblical place has served as an encouragement and as a reminder that the Christian faith not is a fairy-tale but a living and vibrant reality. That is an insight that has transformed millions of pilgrims through the ages from cold disbelief to hearts of faith and spiritual fire.
May I encourage you to consider visiting the lands of the Bible? You may choose to travel on your own schedule. You may join a large group with vast resources. You may select a small group with intimacy. You may travel with us. You may travel with others.
However you go and whomever you go with, I hope you will take that step. Your heart will thank you. Your spiritual fervor may be fuelled forever.
Rev. Hans Weichbrodt: Gothenburg, Sweden