I have heard and experienced that it is challenging to hold unforgiveness, hatred, or generally bad feelings towards someone if you are praying for him. I had an experience in Lebanon that I believe gave me some insight into caring for others like Jesus does.
In October 2017, I was traveling with Gabriel Bejjani, pastor of the Riverside SDB Church in California, along with his kind wife, Hayatt. We visited with Seventh Day Baptists in Poland, then made our way to encourage and assess the Kingdom work going on in Lebanon. We stayed and visited with relatives of Hayatt and Gabe. We saw some of the northern region, and met with SDBs and other Christians in Beirut. At one point we went to see a ministry partner in the far south, near the border of Israel. From that former Muslim’s home, we could see Israel and the city of Qana, Lebanon, on our side of the current political boundary.
Tradition of many Lebanese Christians holds that this is the original location of the first miracles of Jesus performed in the John 2:1-11 account of the Cana wedding. Here He participated in a celebration feast and on the third day turned water into high quality wine. Our friend led us to the site tourists are shown which includes a gift shop, a small cave, and some carvings in the stone of the hillside that are reminiscent of crusader era iconic artwork. Quietly, he also took us to a site on the other side of the village at the back of an orchard where there were some broken ancient stone water pots, the possible remains of a well, and what appeared to be the outlines of some ruined walls and ancient collapsed masonry. This was all very interesting and this secret site seemed to have more credence than the location designated for Christian pilgrimages. However, this was not the most memorable part of the Qana visit for me.
As we went through the main narrow winding road of the modern village of Qana, my imagination went with vivid clarity to Cana of two thousand years ago. I could “see” Jesus walking the dusty main street lined with first century shops and homes. He was heading over to some relatives’ home for a celebration, but along the way He encountered some children on His path. He smiled at the small boy and played a mini-tugo-war with a stick; and the small girl who seemed to know Him, He lifted and swung around for a moment. What struck me in the scene was I knew that Jesus LOVED those kids. AND that He would be quietly interceding on their behalf with the Father about their current lives and their futures.
I do not know if this is the actual location or if a scene like this really played out with Jesus and some children as He was going to the wedding feast. I am pretty sure it does not matter. What I think matters is that it stirs me deeply each time I think of it and it reminds me to pray for those around me and try to think of them with the love that Jesus has for them. I think that is good for me…and maybe good for you, too.
By Clint Brown – Executive Director For this and other Sabbath Recorder Articles click – HERE
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