Oh the Places You’ll Go: the Cave of Machpelah

Somehow, in my many travels to Israel, I had never made it to Hebron – until this summer. Lisa and I got a driver to take us twenty miles or so south of Bethlehem. It’s a tense region, with Palestinians and Israelis living near one another but at odds with one...

Oh the Places You’ll Go: the Jerusalem Food Market

A great challenge and delight when travelling, around the country, around the world, or even to the other side of town, is food. Experimental eating and fumbled pronunciations are the order of the day, googling unfamiliar menu items, letting yourself be amazed by...

Oh the Places You’ll Go: Praying or Spectating? (part 2)

In our last installment, I spoke of famous holy places of prayer where it is exceedingly difficult to pray. It’s way easier for me to pray in a place like the stone pit in St. Peter in Gallicantu in Jerusalem – maybe not the right place, but its centuries-long...

Oh the Places You’ll Go: Praying or Spectating? (part 1)

If you ask Christians who’ve never been to the Holy Land, but think about it, and hope to go one day, Where would you want to pray while you are in Jerusalem? Where would you expect to have a profound spiritual experience? Top 2 answers would be “the Wailing Wall” and...

Oh the Places You’ll Go: the Holy Land

I spent 23 days of my recent sabbatical in the Holy Land. I’ve lost count (hoping that doesn’t sound elitist!)… as I’ve had the great privilege of going to Israel maybe 25 times in my life, usually with a group of 40 or so people in tow. I love showing people I love...

Oh the Places You’ll Go: Liverpool and Tupelo

I love the way Church creates not just religious beauty, but secular beauty as well – if the distinction even makes sense. In February, I was treated to a personal, guided tour of Elvis Presley’s childhood home by the developer of the park and property – which...

Oh the Places You’ll Go: Luther, Bonhoeffer Residences

Our choir is hatching plans to sing on tour in Germany next year – and I am thinking I might intersect with them on a pilgrimage I would lead to places where Martin Luther and Dietrich Bonhoeffer lived and amazed (and still amaze) the world. Germany (and especially...

Oh the Places You’ll Go: Destination – Home?

You don’t think of your own home as a destination, an “oh the place you’ll go,” unless you’re homesick, or unless it’s the place that used to be your home. I envy friends, and a few relatives who have a definitive “home place,” a house that has been their family home...

Oh the Places You’ll Go: Amazement Parks?

I love the way the Gospels tell us, quite a few times, that the people who saw and heard Jesus were “amazed.” It’s the only sensible response to the genius, craziness and wonder that Jesus was and is – but it’s hard to scrounge up much amazement when you’ve been to...

Oh the Places You’ll Go: Ely, Durham, Provence

Solomon’s temple was designed, not to be a spectacular religious building, but to evoke and to give its worshippers a sense of paradise, of natural beauty, of the best of God’s marvelous world. So it wasn’t just imported, exotic stone, but lots of wood, and...