For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. (Song of Songs 2: 11-12)
In between our travels abroad we’ve been busy in Israel, catching up with work and travelling a bit in the land. I’ve been able get down to the Dead Sea and the area around the oasis of Ein Gedi. This is one of my favourite places in the country. It’s where David hung out when he was on the run from Saul, and where all those great stories from the First Book of Samuel about that personal conflict are set. It’s vivid to be there, and let your imagination run free.
And then last weekend we visited Beit Bracha, our guesthouse and prayer centre overlooking the Sea of Galilee in the village of Migdal. What a treat! It was to our great advantage that there were a couple of very accomplished pianists staying there as well, and we enjoyed their playing and leading us in worship in the evening. We drove there via Mount Carmel, visiting the traditional site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal in I Kings 18. It’s a great story, and if you haven’t read it, here’s a hint about what happened: it didn’t end well for the prophets of Baal!
We took the opportunity to drive up to the Golan Heights while we were there. This is a glorious time of year. All the flowers were out, and the fruit trees were in blossom. The richness of the colours and the splendour of the flowers were astonishing after a wet February, and it was a privilege to see. God’s glorious creation was on display, and it was beautiful.
Here's a video I took on my phone during the weekend at Beit Bracha.
The guesthouse has a spectacular panoramic view of the Sea of Galilee.
The painting inside is by local messianic artist Goldie Spieler.
And finally, I couldn't resist adding this lovely picture of a shepherd with his sheep at sunrise in Jerusalem, taken by Dan Hadley.
Dan and Neva are the volunteer co-ordinators at the Christ Church Guest House. Clearly Dan gets up early!