Sing: Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee, UMH 89
We left Megiddo headed to our hotel in Jerusalem where we will stay the rest of our time in Israel. If you were to divide Israel into five parts of equal widths north to south, Megiddo would be at about the one fifth line from the north. Jerusalem is about another fifth of the country south and twice as far inland from the Mediterranean as Megiddo. The only highway in Israel equivalent to our Interstate system runs along the western edge of Israel’s central hill country, so between getting to that highway from Megiddo and then from that highway to Jerusalem we had a ride of about two hours ahead of us. We were tired but too excited to sleep.
As we headed west on Highway 1 toward Jerusalem we began to slowly gain elevation. As we reached the western suburbs of Jerusalem the light drizzle turned into a light snowfall. Our guide, Nader, made a change in our plans and had our driver, Mahmoud, take us to the campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on Mount Scopus. It had already been a long day for all of us, but especially for Nader and Mahmoud and it would have been so easy for them to stick to the original plan and take us directly to our hotel – there would have been no way for us to know what we had missed!
The Latin name “Scopus” comes from the Roman Army’s use of this mountain as a vantage point to plan and execute their attack of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Binyamin Mazar Street offered ample parking for our bus and terraced walkways with marvelous views of the Temple Mount and Old Jerusalem to the southwest across the Kidron Valley. As we took and posed for photographs with the old city in the background and snow falling all around us it began to snow harder and harder until finally the Dome of the Rock and Old Jerusalem faded out of view. We boarded our warm bus and headed for the Olive Tree Hotel – our home for next seven nights.
The misery of the cold, blowing rain at Megiddo turned into the blessing of snowfall in Jerusalem. What a way to end our second day! God does work in mysterious ways.