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Holy Land: It is Good to Be Here

Matthew Harrison

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

mounttabor.jpgSwitchbacks.  Those who are familiar with driving through the mountains have probably heard the term before.  A switchback is basically a zig zag road pattern that climbs a steep incline. 
We encountered well over a dozen of them as our tour van snaked up Mount Tabor.  I was glad it had been a while since breakfast, because I don’t know if my stomach could have taken it!  Regardless, the payoff at the top was incredible.  The Basilica of the Transfiguration is gorgeous (as you may have guessed, it commemorates what is traditionally believed to be the Mountain where Christ was transfigured before three of his Apostles… see Matthew 17,Mark 9, or Luke 9).  The Mosaics in the sanctuary are really quite stunning. I found particularly interesting two simple chapels off of the entrance dedicated to Elijah and Moses – who, as you remember appeared when our Lord was transfigured. 
The Church wasn’t the only attraction on the Mount.  There are breathtaking views of the valley, north to Nazareth and east to the Sea of Galilee. 
Looking out at the scenery of the valley, of an area where the Son of God walked two thousand years ago, I couldn’t help but give thanks: “Lord, it is good that we are here.”

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