Thirty-Nine Pilgrims

Thirty-nine pilgrims embarked on a journey
Across the length and breadth of the Promised Land
By coach on road, by boat on sea
By jeep across the desert sand

We scaled the peaks of Carmel and Nebo
And remembered Elijah and Moses of old
We plunged the depths of earth’s lowest parts
And floated on the Dead Sea in the cold

Another sea we spied upon and sailed
In Galilee all lush and warm
We raised the Singapore flag and invited Christ on board
No wonder we could sing and smile at the storm

In Nazareth Village the life of Jesus came alive
We learned how olive oil required triple press to prepare
And how our Lord was pressed beyond measure
In his olive press garden’s triple prayer

At Cana where Jesus graced a wedding
Five couples repeated their marriage vows anew
When wine or love runs out, Jesus will restore
So after all these years, we can say, We still do!

At Golan Heights we recalled the victory of Israel’s armies
When a heavenly hand helped them prevail
At Caesarea Philippi the centre of pagan Pan worship
The Church built on the Rock not even the gates of hell can assail

We sat at the foot of Mount Hermon
And learned geography looking at a human pose
Recited the psalms of David of falling dew and running waters
Did he sit here too and compose?

Wadi Rum gave us such fond memories
Climbing up a 10-storey high sand dune
Camping in bedouin tents with electric blankets
Sunset, sunrise, a few stars in the presence of a super moon

The Nabateans carved a city of rock at Petra
And wowed us with what we saw
But was it a match for God’s pastel artwork
In the canyon that wrapped us with wonder and awe?

On the Mount of Olives we stood overlooking the city
For which our Lord shed tears most tender
In the Garden of Gethsemane we prayed as our Lord did
For victory through full and free surrender

After Trump’s announcement, tension hung
Over Jerusalem like a thundercloud
But God kept us safe as we moved about
On Temple Mount with no queue and no crowd

The City of David threw us a challenge
To walk the Hezekiah’s Tunnel, wet or dry
Those who wet their feet had more adventure
Those who didn’t could only listen and sigh

Much more we saw, Meggido, Gallicantu, Magdala
But running out of space to tell
River Jordan, En Gedi, Qumran, Masada
Yad Vashem, Via Dolorosa, finally farewell

Our pilgrimage ended at Golgotha and the empty tomb
How appropriate it should be so
For the journey is never ended when Jesus lives today
And walks with us wherever we go!

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