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Monday, July 6, 2015

As soon as you leave the city limits of Jerusalem, you're in the desert. The Judean desert is a desolate place although the Bedouins seem to make a living. You go by there shacks with their sheep and livestock grazing on dirt.  Goat milk and cheese and weaving rugs is hard way to make a living.  But then you will see a satellite dish.
They run a generator at night to watch television.

Keep driving through the desert and you see the Dead Sea.  You go as they say 250 m (820 feet) below sea level.  All at once you arrive at Jericho. It is an oasis. There are flowers, fresh fruit and vegetables, palm trees and dates.
This is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. It is 10,500 years old. It is also the first of the land that this is making up the Palestinian Area.

In Christianity, Jericho is known for a number of things.  First of all,  Zacchaeus and the Sycamore  Tree.  This is a grand-daughter of the original.
He is wanting to see Jesus but since  Zacchaeus  was so short he had to climb a tree. Just saw him and told him to come now.   Zacchaeus changed his ways and became a follower of Jesus.

Also the prophet Elisha came to Jericho. The first time he came there was well they have water that was undrinkable, too salty.   Elisha took a handful of salt and threw it in the well. The water became usable after that. The water had changed.  The well is still one of the five springs in Jericho.

Also Jesus came to Jericho. He came here to fast for 40 days and 40 nights. During that time, he was tempted. He withstood those temptations. He changed into his public life.

And we all know the song, "Joshua fit the battle of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down". They have dug through 23 civilizations and have not found the the walls yet.  But God does inspire folklore also.

The town is all Arabs and Christians.  There is a Catholic Church named the Good Shepherd with a school. The School teaches both Christians and Muslims.  This is a change also.  We don't  have to go to Jericho to change.  God always gives us the grace to do that and more.

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