God is good!
And so, given I have been working on today’s post for the last few days with obviously very little success (I’ve been a bit distracted) I intend to deviate from the norm (yes, I’m now a deviant) and return to my favorite subject of late, the Holy Land.
I hope you don't mind.
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“May you live to 120” is a common blessing among Jews, based on the life and time of Moses and one interpretation of Genesis 6:3.
I’ve been a little lax of late when it comes to my Bible studies (but lots of prayers); and I’m not a Jew, which may suggest my expiration date is much closer than I think, especially having crossed the halfway mark several years back.
Yes, when the time comes (blessedly, it’s out of my hands), just give me a room with a heavenly view.
If Mount Nebo is any indication, Moses got his room with a view.
Mount Nebo was the final stop in Moses’ historic flight from Egypt to the Holy Land with two million Hebrew slaves; and according to biblical texts, it is here, on Pisgah, as it is also called, that Moses spent his final days, just before the people of Israel crossed to the promised land of Canaan.
Today, Mount Nebo is an active Franciscan monastery, headquarters of the Franciscan Archaeological Institute. The sculpture at the entrance to the Archeological Park commemorates a visit by Pope John Paul II in March, 2000.
On your mark! Get set! Gooooooo!
Here he is pulling out ahead, leaving me to meander on my own.
The mosaics were the gems at this site, stunning antiquities thousands of years old, some from nearby religious sites excavated in Madaba and Nebo; many were still undergoing restoration; still others, much smaller, were displayed within the museum, along with other artifacts, mostly pottery.
Would you believe I missed the sculpture of the brazen Staff of Moses? How does one miss something that prominent? It's not like there were trees to obscure the view. Lots of tourists, but very few trees.
But for a moment, thinking about standing atop that elevated ridge weeks ago, sharing with Moses the same stunning view he took in of the Holy Land for which he alone was denied entry thousands of years ago, I know with renewed conviction that life in all its glorious, messy, frantic and frightening moments is truly a beautiful gift from God.