On the Bookshelf: Reflections of God’s Holy Land

Ten years ago this week, my mother and I embarked on a ten-day tour of Israel. Over the course of the trip, we retraced the steps of Jesus through the streets of Jerusalem, waded into the shallow water on the edge of the Sea of Galilee and walked along the hillside where Jesus is believed to have delivered the Sermon on the Mount — and this in addition to numerous other historical and religious sites.

Over the past few weeks, I have retraced my steps thanks to the work of Everson and Vamosh. The two journeyed through the Holy Land, visiting many of the same places I had visited. Their steps generally follow the course of events outlined by the gospel writers beginning with the Judean wilderness where John the Baptist prepared the way for the coming Messiah and continuing through Bethlehem, Galilee and finally Jerusalem. Illustrated with full-color photos, each locale is introduced with a passage of Scripture followed by short historical/cultural essay and a reflective essay.

Reading through the book is, in part, like looking through a personal scrapbook of the journey as the photos are (for the most part) actual photos taken by the authors during their travels and the reflective essay offers thoughts on the way each locale reinforced, challenged or enhanced the faith of the author. Its format lends itself easily to devotional reading and would make a welcome addition to any library.

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