Oh the places you will go.

What a beautiful day it is. Since relocating to Central Pennsylvania, I suddenly have a new love for the spring time & the great out doors. If you ask my wife, I am not much of an out doors type guy. Growing up in the city, I loved being outside in the summer, but prefer to be in a downtown environment, where I can interact with lots of people. I love to be surrounded by people of all makes and sizes. One of the things I enjoyed the most, was spending time on Dillworth Plaza in Center City Philadelphia. If you frequent this blog, then you have read about my weekly train rides into the city from our home in the suburbs. Dillworth is a large open plaza on the west side of Philly’s City Hall.  During the summer, there are all kinds of things happening there. Music, art, children playing in the water garden. Just about anything you could imagine. The vibe there is electric, like the people just enjoy being together.

The city culture, sometimes just gets people excited! As I read through the book of John, I get that same feeling about the city of Jerusalem, when Jesus arrived there in chapter 12:11-19.

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,

“Hosanna![a]

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]

“Blessed is the king of Israel!”

14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:

15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion;
see, your king is coming,
seated on a donkey’s colt.”[c]

16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.

17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word.18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign,went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”

The people in the city were so excited to see Jesus, that they threw palm branches down in front of him as he arrived in the city. The atmosphere must have been incredible! People had witnessed him raise Lazarus from the dead only a few day earlier. Everyone knew he must be the Messiah….
How ironic that in just a few short days, these same people would beg Pilate to crucify him.
Central Pennsylvania is not at all like Dillworth Plaza down town. It’s quiet, serene, and amazingly beautiful. As I climb the mountains & enjoy the amazing vistas, I can only imagine that perhaps this type of place would be where Jesus would go to be alone. The scripture speaks of a garden called Gethsemane where Jesus was in anguish the night before he was arrested. Here, there is a beautiful place that the locals call “The Altar” that is an incredible place to be alone with the Holy Spirit. It’s off a quiet forest road, with a long rocky driveway all the way to the top. Up there, is a stone altar that overlooks the small town of Beaver Springs. I have found that no matter how much I miss the city, there is no place in the world like The Altar.
I am so glad, that no matter where I go, I have the opportunity to see God at work in many different cultures. I guess the thing I have learned most on this crazy journey is this. You never know where God will send you next.
As we prepare to celebrate the Death & Resurrection of the King of Kings, I would encourage you to do this. Look around you. Where can you see God at work. Sometimes it’s in the most unusual places.
What do you think?
Till Next time,
Pj.

3 Replies to “Oh the places you will go.”

  1. Being outside is my favorite place to connect with God. Saturday services is an expected time of reflection and connection – but being in the glory of the world – the rawness and wholeness of standing in the suns rays, or in a good rain – just being able to sit and wonder at the world around us, unwind and reflect – that is best to feel the presence of God.

    Liked by 1 person

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