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Journeys in Faith

Exploring the Holy Sites

Introduction
Unboxing the Bible Course Online
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Journeys in Faith

Exploring the Christian Holy Sites of Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem.

Uncovering the history, significance, and modern relevance.

 

Introduction

With these Sessions, we will embark on a transformative journey through the sacred landscapes of Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem. We will dive deep into the stories that shaped Christianity while exploring their contemporary resonance. Ideal for the spiritually curious, history buffs, and aspiring pilgrims, this interactive online voyage promises both enlightenment and engagement. Let us weave the past with the present in a tapestry of faith.

Course Outline

Session 1: Jerusalem - Heart of the Holy Land

Session 2:  Nazareth - Echoes of the Annunciation

Session 3: Bethlehem - From David to Jesus and Beyond

Goals of the Course

  1. To offer a rich exploration of the Christian Holy Sites - Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem. And delve into the history, geographical, and archaeological facets of these sites.

  2. To understand the biblical context of these locations while connecting them to the modern relevance bridging the past and the present.

  3. To provide a valuable resource for past, present, and future pilgrims to deepen their understanding of Christian heritage.

Session 1: Jerusalem - Heart of the Holy Land

Session 1

Recording (September 5th, 2023)

Jerusalem - Heart of the Holy Land

In this session, we begin our journey with an introductory glimpse into the depth and beauty that the series promises. As we delve deeper, we explore the perplexing story of Job, a man whose faith stood firm in the face of great suffering. We then turn our attention to Abraham, revisiting the stirring moment when he was asked to sacrifice his son on the grounds of Moriah, a place embedded with layers of history and belief that echo through time.

From the earliest foundations laid at Moriah, we travel through Jerusalem's rich tapestry of history, stopping at significant milestones such as the grandeur of the Second Temple, and immersing ourselves in the poignant final days of Jesus in this hallowed city. We cap off this voyage by illuminating the interconnected stories of Jesus, Job, and Abraham, each representing facets of sacrifice and faith that continue to resonate powerfully today.

This episode is more than just a recount of ancient times; it's a stepping stone into a journey where past and present intertwine, inviting viewers to find personal connections and insights in the storied pathways of Jerusalem.

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Session 2:  Nazareth - Echoes from the Annunciation

Session 2

Recording (September 12th, 2023)

Nazareth - Echoes from the Annunciation

Join us in the second episode of the "Journeys in Faith" series as we immerse ourselves in the tranquil yet profound echoes of Nazareth, a place where ancient prophecies and modern revelations converge in a symphony of faith.

 

In this session, we step into the realms of the new covenant foretold by Jeremiah, setting the stage for a journey that intertwines the threads of ancient scriptures and the vibrant narratives that Nazareth embodies. From the enigmatic garden of Eden, where Eve’s encounter with the apple set forth a chain of events, to the serene landscapes of Nazareth and Galilee, we invite you on a pilgrimage of understanding and spiritual enrichment.

 

As we navigate through the theological landscapes discussing the themes of continuity and discontinuity, we find ourselves standing at the threshold of The House of Mary, a place echoing the profound annunciation that reverberates through time. Experience the audacity of Mary, a figure embodying strength and grace in equal measure. Venture further with us as we explore other mystical sites in the region, each narrating tales of faith, courage, and divine intervention.

 

The session reaches its zenith as we delve into the profound words of John's prologue, where the Word became Flesh, illuminating the intrinsic value that flesh holds in the grand scheme of divine plans. We culminate this journey with a reflective conclusion, drawing parallels between Mary and Eve, narrating the epic defeat of the dragon as depicted in Revelations 12, a powerful testament to the undying flame of faith and the promise of redemption.

 

This episode beckons you to walk the paths of Nazareth with us, a journey where the echoes of annunciations past provide a harmonious backdrop to the discoveries and revelations that await in the here and now.

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Session 3: Bethlehem - From David to Jesus

Session 3

Recording (September 19th, 2023)

Bethlehem - From David to Jesus and Beyond

In this enlightening installment of "Journeys in Faith," we traverse the sands of time in the historic city of Bethlehem, a place that resounds with stories echoing from ancient stones and sun-kissed hills. It is here where the paths of kings and saviors have crossed, leaving behind a rich tapestry of history, spirituality, and cultural resonance that continues to vibrate today.

Embark on a journey that begins in the eras of antiquity, a time where the earliest mentions of Bethlehem are found in the intriguing Amarna tablets during Akhenaten's reign and the formidable presence of the Assyrian Empire. The Old Testament further unfolds the layers of this ancient city, revealing its prominence in the tales woven within the Book of Ruth and Samuel. It's a place intrinsically linked with figures like Jesse and the anointed king, David, whose covenant marks a significant chapter in its narrative.

As we transition to the times of Jesus, we delve into the complex and vibrant backdrop of the Roman Empire, setting the stage for the profound events that marked the beginning of the Christian story. Experience the Annunciation anew, journeying through the lives of St Joseph, the awe-inspiring Nativity narrative as depicted in the New Testament, and the consequential visit of the Magi amidst the reign of Herod.

In our exploration of modern Bethlehem, we take a moment to understand the city as it stands today, a place defined by its religious diversity and political nuances. A visit to the awe-inspiring Basilica offers viewers an intimate glimpse from its imposing exterior to the revered spaces within, encompassing the sanctity of the Holy Site that has stood the test of time.

Venture back through the annals of history as we trace the evolution of the Nativity Church, uncovering the marks left by Byzantine craftsmanship and medieval artistry, leading to the depths of the spiritual haven that is the Grotto.

As we step outside the confines of the Nativity, we are greeted by the spiritual richness that encompasses the city. From the community-centric St. Catherine Parrish to the scholarly pursuits of St. Jerome in the creation of the Vulgate, Bethlehem continues to inspire with its blend of historical and religious fervor. Let us wander through Shepherd's Field and the serene environs of the Milk Grotto, where stories of faith and devotion continue to inspire pilgrims across the globe.

Join us in this journey of rediscovery and reflection, where the past meets the present, in the heart of Bethlehem, where every stone tells a story.

Image Resources

Biblical Texts 

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