April begins with the celebration of Easter—the most holy day on the Christian calendar. “Holy” means consecrated, recognized as sacred by religious use, entitled to worship, devoted to God. Easter is not just a day, but a season which lasts for 50 days. During the Easter season, five of us from the church are going on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land—to see the holy places where Jesus walked, talked, performed miracles, died and rose from the dead. This pilgrimage is focused on exploring the particular places and ways Jesus interacted with women. I invite you to journey with us spiritually by following this calendar, reading the Scripture readings associated with each day and praying for our safety and spiritual growth.
April 12—Galilee: We will travel throughout Galilee, seeing places where Jesus proclaimed the good news, cured sickness and fed multitudes of people (See Matthew 4-7; Luke 9:10-17). We will visit the town of Magdala, home of Mary Magdalene (See John 20:10-18).
April 13—Cana, Nazareth: We will visit places where Jesus performed miracles: changing water to wine (John 2:1-11) and raising a widow’s son from the dead (Luke 7:11-17). After seeing Jesus’ boyhood home of Nazareth (Luke 2:39-40), we will explore the place where God called Mary to be the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:26-38).
April 14—Jericho: We will explore the place where a woman named Rahab helped protect the Israelites (Joshua 6). Then we will see the place where Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11) and where he was baptized by John in the River Jordan (John 1:26-34).
April 15-16—Wilderness: We will traverse the wilderness, down to the Dead Sea (Numbers 34:12) and
climb up the mountain to take in the breathtaking views of the desert and tour Masada—the place where a number of Jewish patriots took refuge and ultimately took their own lives rather than surrender to the Roman soldiers in 73 AD. We will focus on hearing the stories of the women named Tamar, Sarah & Hagar, and Salome.
April 17—Jerusalem: Continuing our journey through the wilderness, we will walk along the Jericho Road, re-membering the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). We will be instructed and inspired by the stories of the women named Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Mary & Martha (John 11:1-45).
April 18—Bethlehem and Jerusalem: Today, we will visit Bethlehem, the place where Mary gave birth to Jesus (Luke 2:1-7). Then we will trace the steps of Jesus riding into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-11) and praying in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-44). We will also hear the story of Ruth and Naomi (Ruth).
April 19—Jerusalem: We will continue our pilgrimage in Jerusalem, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it!” (Matthew 23:37-39).
April 20—Jerusalem & The Old City: Our last day in Jerusalem, we will explore the place Jesus healed (John 5:1-9), and was dedicated in the temple by the Prophetess Anna (Luke 2:21-38). We will walk the Via Dolorosa—the path Jesus is believed to have walked to his crucifixion—and the people he interacted with along the way, including Pontius Pilate (Luke 23:1-11), the criminals who derided him from the cross, Mary, his mother, who stayed with him at the cross, Joseph of Arimathea, who gave his tomb, and Mary Magdalene and Salome, who prepared his body for burial (Luke 23:38-56). We will see the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Garden Tomb, both places believed to be the sight when Jesus was buried.
April 21—Return to USA: We return home, sweet home, grateful to God, who keeps our going out and our coming in (Psalm 121) and anxious to share our many adventures and stories.
I will be posting pictures and daily reflections as we travel. Be sure to check out the Pastor’s blog on our website at www.cpcba.org. On May 6 from 12-1:00 PM, we will share our pictures and experiences in Fellowship Hall.
Come join us!
Holy Easter Blessings,
Pastor Donna and her pilgrim sisters: Nancy Hamilton, Barbara McKelway, Leslie Miller, and Deb Sadowski