Or should I say, last Tuesday?

Last Tuesday I [Jenni] was sitting on some pretty old steps but they weren’t just any old steps. Let me explain.

This past weekend I returned from a dream. For about 10 days, I was in a faraway land filled with rich history and deep significance for this life we have come to live.  I journeyed through Israel with 41 others from my church family and like I said, it was a dream. The entire trip was priceless. I wish I could account each sight, story, and connection for you, or even share the thoughts, tears, songs, and precious moments. Thankfully I brought a new journal with me and we can thumb through the many lines that have already been filled together. I keep turning back the pages to remember and relive some of the moments I know I’ll cherish all my days.

So back to Tuesday…

IMG_9091Last Tuesday I found myself sitting on these old steps that were the setting of New Testament life, specifically the second chapter of Luke. 2,000 years ago all those sitting on these steps were amazed as they heard a young Boy from Nazareth speak. He had stayed behind in Jerusalem after Passover without His parents knowing, but when they returned to find Him they were astonished. They asked Him why He had stayed behind and worried them. His response, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Can you imagine the confusion, concern, and care of those parents? He returned with them to Nazareth as a submissive child and grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. And the story continues… Fast forward 2,000 years and we see and can sit on these same steps. As I sat there last Tuesday, I was in awe. I was amazed that we can hear that same Boy, now God-Man-King, through His Word. We didn’t have to be present 2,000 years ago and we don’t have to travel to Jerusalem to be in His presence. His Spirit is with us and He speaks to us through the Bible. We can be amazed just like His parents and treasure Him like His mother did. (Luke 2:51)

As I’ve opened up the Word each morning this week, new images appear in my mind as I can actually picture Nehemiah rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem because I walked on the walls, or as I begin the gospels, I’m imagining the trek to Bethlehem that Joseph and Mary had to make. All of it is coming to life in a new way for me and it’s simply amazing. But the truth of the Story hasn’t changed. Here in my living room, on this normal Tuesday, I met Jesus face to face. I wasn’t sitting on steps that are thousands of years old, nor was I on a road traveling through Jerusalem. I was sitting with my Bible on my lap and blanket over my feet. We don’t have to be in the holy land to experience His sweet presence. Jesus’s sacrifice tore the veil and now we have direct access to our God. Our God, Immanuel, is with us. This is the greatest takeaway from my trip and this is the story of my life. Christ my Savior and my God.

I’m thankful that in His kindness and generous love, God gifted me the opportunity to experience the land and people of Israel but even more so, I am most thankful that He gifted the world with His Son. Because He lived and still lives, we can now live. For this I’m giving THANKS.