Because of the unrest between warring factions, there is never a really good time to go to the Holy Land. August 2004 wasn't a good time. There were travel advisories in effect. When I saw that was my big opportunity to go, I rationalized that it has not been "safe" to go there for several thousand years. It wasn't safe for Jesus to go there, either, but he chose to be born in Bethlehem. This is where Jesus "first revealed his sacred face" and it's holy ground. Sadly, fewer and fewer pilgrims choose to make the journey, and who really could blame them.
Today I offer this prayer for the peace of the Holy Land, and for all nations of the earth:
"Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and forever. Amen." [The Book of Common Prayer, 815]
The Rev. Linda McCloud
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek