Having heard about Moses and the Promised Land, Jordan had always intrigued me, so when a bunch of friends planned a trip, there was no way I could not be a part of it!
Mosaic floor map at Madaba
My first port of call was Madaba after a brief rest at Amman to see the mosaic floor story lining and marking the Biblical sites in the Middle East including the Dead Sea and the Jordan River at the St. George's Greek Orthodox Church. This church was re-discovered in the ruins of the old town of Madaba and goes back to Byzantine times. My guide informed me that mosaics exist underneath every dwelling in Madaba, and looking at the archeological excavations I felt that this area might have the highest concentration of mosaics anywhere in the globe.
Where moses saw the promised land
Our next stop was Mount Nebo. It is believed that Moses stood here and saw the Promised Land. It is also where he died and was buried. The sculpture had a form of a cross with a serpent around it.
From here I could also see the Dead Sea, Israel and Jerusalem off at a far distance. To the north was a glimpse of the seven hills of Amman and turning east, the Jordanian desert seemed to run off to join the distant sandy wastes of Saudi Arabia.
Where Lord Jesus was baptized
We briefly stopped at Elijah's Hill, before walking up to the Jordan River. I felt blessed to have been in Bethany where Lord Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. The original baptism site has now been dug up, since the river has now moved a little further to the west to form the border between Jordan and Israel. Interestingly the entire river is a military zone, but this spot is an exception for tourists and pilgrims.
It is difficult to put into words the kind of charismatic feeling one gets on visiting this Holy Land... on that note A Merry Christmas to all of you!