by Jeff & Jane Klieve
Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sadly, this was the last day of the pilgrimage for some of us who head back to the US in the evening … so we were resolved to make it a good one.

All of us visited Emmaus which is northwest of Jerusalem.  There we visited one of several locations thought to mark where Jesus walked with two disciples, however the disciples did not recognize him until Jesus broke bread with them (Luke 24:13-35).  Emmaus was on the highway between Jerusalem and Jaffa (on the coast) and a legion of Roman soldiers were in Emmaus to control the road.  We visited a church there built in the 12th century by the Crusaders, hence the name, Crusader Church.

From there we visited a nearby by American-style diner honoring another king of sorts … Elvis Presley, yes, Elvis Presley.  The place was loaded with Elvis photographs and memorabilia, and some of us had coffee in a souvenir Elvis coffee cup, what else?  The stop was the last official stop for us as a group and it was a light-hearted way to end an otherwise very full and serious pilgrimage.

Five of us were then dropped off in the Old City of Jerusalem while the rest of the group continued on to Jordan.  We walked through the Jewish Quarter of the Old City for a few hours since we had not been in that quarter earlier in the week and did some shopping.  We then headed to Jaffa on the coast before going to the airport for our flight back to the US.

Jaffa lies just to the south of Tel Aviv on the coast and it was pretty much fogged in during our visit.  Jaffa (called Joppa in biblical times) was a port city and received shipments of cedar from Lebanon with which Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem.  Joppa is also where Peter raised the disciple woman, Tabitha, (Acts 9:36-43) and we visited the Church of St. Peter named in honor of this event.  We walked through the old town of Joppa and along the beach in the fog before having the last supper of our pilgrimage, then it was on to the airport.

Our flight left at 12:40 am on Friday morning, and we landed safely in STL at 3:30 pm on Friday after connecting through JFK airport in New York, and Atlanta.

Additional Reflections:

Dick Entenmann:  My thoughts on the “road to Emmaus” centered around our shared experiences as pilgrims. We drew closer together through Eucharists and the “Christ sites” we visited. Our final Eucharist all together as pilgrims was especially poignant for me.

Becky Entenmann:  I was so happy to visit more sites today before departing but I found my mind wandering, thinking how my heart and spirit were touched so deeply by what I’d heard and seen already. I’m wondering how I will be able to share all this when I get home.

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