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During these last few weeks, as I have pondered, planned, and packed for our trip to Israel, my dad’s voice sings in my mind. 

“I walked today where Jesus walked.” 

I used to accompany dad on the piano, as his big bass voice sang these words to that old classic by Geoffrey O’Hara.  At the time I was young enough to not appreciate the lyric or melody…they were, after-all, old-fashioned.  But now that dad is gone, and I’m headed to the “place where Jesus walked” I hear that song.

What is it going to be like, I wonder?  I’ve never been to Israel, and I am prone to be overwhelmed in the presence of things and places I’ve only seen in pictures or heard about.  I remember seeing the city of Florence for the first time and almost not being able to breath.  I can only imagine what will be racing through my mind as I look out over the Sea of Galilee, or stand in the streets of Capernaum or Jerusalem, knowing that Jesus Himself was there in the flesh.  Bethlehem, the Garden Tomb, the river Jordan…all these places so much a part of who I am, and yet I’ve never seen them.

“I walked today where Jesus walked.”

It’s easy for us humans, it seems, to get so overwhelmed by a place and event that we “enshrine” the place.  The scripture is filled with verses describing “God events” that were marked, literally, by an altar, or a stone…so that we remember.  And, supposedly, Israel is filled with places that may have been significant places in the lives of Jesus, or the disciples, or Paul…so many that one can visit several places that claim to be the birth or burial or miracle site of this or that.  Those places are often covered over by sanctuaries, altars, candles, incense…because beyond remembering, they have become sacred in themselves.

“I walked today where Jesus walked.” 

Are these places (where Jesus’ feet walked, or where He was born, or where He was buried) truly MORE sacred because Jesus, as a human, walked there?  

I have been to Christian worship times, and I’ve spoken about it on Sundays, that resemble more of a funeral than worship.  Oh, the music might be loud and energetic, the emotions might be high, the teaching might be sound…but everyone behaves as if Jesus “walked” on earth once-upon-a-time…and not that He is walking still. 

I truly want to visit the Garden Tomb (or, I should say, one of the many claiming to be that) if for no other reason than to remind myself that it is empty. 

If I am truly a Believer (that Jesus is who He says He is) and Follower (not just Believing, but walking beside Him) than I have to believe that the places I am going to see next week are sacred because of the place they hold in my own history of faith…but in reality, I walk every day where Jesus walks.  

He walks the back streets on the westside of Anderson, as well as the eastside. He sits with those who come to our Chapel door for a hot dog lunch every Friday.  He is here, in our Sanctuary, at every worship time, and there at the Hoosier Park Casino.  He works at Nestle and at Scampy’s.  He drives I-69.  And if I can’t see Him in those places, then the fault is mine…not His. 

Next week I will be in the place where Jesus was born, where He was baptized, where He taught and healed, where He was executed, where He cheated death, and where He said “I will see you later.” as He went to His Father…

…I will also be on the mountain where He said, “Remember I AM with you; totally and forever, even through the completion of this place and time.”



I walked today where Jesus walked,
In days of long ago.
I wandered down each path He knew,
With reverent step and slow.

Those little lanes, they have not changed,
A sweet peace fills the air.
I walked today where Jesus walked,
And felt Him close to me. 

My pathway led through Bethlehem,
A memory’s ever sweet.
The little hills of Galilee,
That knew His childish feet.
The Mount of Olives, hallowed scenes,
That Jesus knew before
I saw the mighty Jordan row,
As in the days of yore.

I knelt today where Jesus knelt,
Where all alone he prayed.
The Garden of Gethsemane,
My heart felt unafraid. 

I picked my heavy burden up,
And with Him at my side,
I climbed the Hill of Calvary,
I climbed the Hill of Calvary,
I climbed the Hill of Calvary,
Where on the Cross He died! 

I walked today where Jesus walked,
And felt Him close to me.