Mission Trip Israel – Day 10: Saturday, May 26, 2007
Today, we enjoyed the Sabbath rest by having a picnic with a local congregation youth group. They were mostly teenagers, but some who were younger and others who were older attended. We were at a beautiful park that had a cliff down to the ocean, but we stayed up in the grass and shared a meal, played soccer and Israeli dodge ball.
Our leadership had a plan for a significant event at the end of this frivolity. We met at the oldest standing Gate in the world. In the old days, cities had walls around them for protection and gates to let people in and out. We see in the Old Testament that the important men of the city met at the gates of the city to discuss the important affairs of the day. (Esther & Proverbs 31 come to mind.)
We lined up all these young Jews on one side and our team of Gentiles on the other. We (the Gentiles) got on our knees, grabbed the feet of the Jews and begged their forgiveness for the ways we had treated them throughout the centuries. We have subjected them to horrible treatment for thousands of years – concentration camps and Spanish Inquisitions being only the most dramatic events, but which really only represent a small portion of the ways we have done it. There were many tears.
These young Jews then amazingly decided to return the gesture and ask for our forgiveness. One in particular named Duron, asked to speak to the group as a whole and be translated to us, and admitted that they had been taught to think that we Gentiles were beneath them and trash. The whole time we were only trying to share Yeshua with them, the Living God, the Messiah whom they had been waiting for so long for. It was a powerful moment.
We then walked hand in hand through the oldest gate standing on the planet to commemorate this unification of the original branch, and the one God has grafted in to His original covenant people. (Romans 11:17-24)