Now back home, bag unpacked, and jars of Middle East sunshine now released into Sheffield……..so come on summer! Welcomed back by friends in the UK (after a 5 hour delay at the airport….thanks Jet2!), my thoughts and prayers are still with friends over in the Middle East and so feeling a bit torn between ‘homes’. One of the last things I did in Ibillin before heading for the airport was to stand with my oldest friend Sohil, with one of his sons, at the grave of Sohil’s wife Hannah and offer prayers for the family. A poignant moment remembering a special lady who welcomed me into her home 15 years ago.
Preparing to meet my own church family tomorrow, and lead some sung worship on my plonking guitar, I reflect that 2 weeks ago I worshipped at the Anglican Cathedral, Jerusalem, last week I worshipped in the Baslica of the Annunciation, Nazareth (where the angel spoke to Mary), and here I am back in sunny Sheffield ready to worship at Greenhill Methodist Church. Jerusalem and Nazareth sound exotic places, especially to those who treasure the Jesus story – but actually wherever we are is the most important place for Christian worship and witness, and so I am glad to be here, but with friends overseas in my heart.