we visited two baptismal sites along the jordan river back-to-back – one on our last evening in galilee and one on our way driving to jerusalem. the second site is probably much closer to the spot where jesus himself was baptized in that river two thousand years ago, but both places were really neat to spend time at, thinking about the saviour and real promises made with god through simple, symbolic acts.
at the yardenit baptismal site, situated right where the jordan river flows out of the south side of the sea of galilee, we were blessed to witness dozens of people from different parts of the world be baptized. it was really fantastic to witness the devotion, faith and joy of these christians and to think about our own attempts to renew our commitment to following jesus christ. we spent a couple of hours at this peaceful place.
^^ i love, love, love this post-baptism rejoicing! ^^
the bethany-beyond-jordan baptismal site, much further down the jordan river as it approaches the dead sea and the cuts though the vast judean wilderness, matches the scant scriptural description of the location of christ’s baptism better than the yardenit baptismal site. it looks quite different! this is the baptismal site i visited as a student and it was great to return with ian. since there were hardly any other people there, we took the opporutnity to sit on the steps and read the accounts of jesus’s baptism in the gospels, along with some other material on the doctrine of baptism.
^^ right before i snapped this picture, a white dove flew across the river! kind of cool!! (if you don’t know the story of christ’s baptism, the bible reports that the “holy ghost descended like a dove” when jesus came out of the water.)
^^ some white doves we saw in the parking lot. super beautiful creatures! ^^
from bethany-beyond-jordan, we drove west to my favourite place on planet earth – jerusalem. as we approached the city i was tingling with joy, so so excited to share the holy city with the boy!
to be continued…!