Some of you know that recently I went to Israel and Jordan for ten days. It was a wonderful (first time) visit for me — made possible by a gift from my wife and some incredibly resourceful friends.
I hope you can see and make sense of this picture. The focal point is not the people gathered, but where they are gathered.
Two weeks ago this coming Sunday I was sitting with these folks on these steps. Specifically, they are steps on the south side of the city of Jerusalem going up through what was called the “double gate” leading not only into the city, but into the temple area. In the days of Jesus, these steps were over two hundred feet wide and alternated between a twelve inch run and a 35 inch run.
Why the change?
So that worshipers going up to the temple could not rush, but would have to think about their steps: slow, deliberate, thoughtful.
Very little of Jerusalem appears today as Jesus saw it, but these steps were there when Jesus was there and he would have walked them. It crossed my mind that if it weren’t for all the people, I could spend time walking the length of every step and surely, I would at some point, walk in the same place as Jesus.
The thing is however that I am never called to walk where Jesus walked. I am called to walk as Jesus walked – live as Jesus lived. The Apostle John, in his first letter writes: “Whoever claims to live in Jesus must walk as Jesus did.” It’s not an ideal, but God’s very real expectation.