April 3, 2019

I began the second day of our DC experience with a moment of solitude. On each trip I take, I pick a place to watch one sunrise, typically over a body of water. In Israel it was at the Sea of Galilee, in France it was along the River Seine, and this morning I enjoyed a gentle pink and gold sunrise over the Tidal Basin. Taking a moment to appreciate God’s beauty, I noticed the chilled quietness of the morning and the delicate nature of the cherry-blossom trim around the basin’s perimeter. The day was just getting started and I was eager to see what God had in store for us next.

We returned to the Museum of the Bible to continue our educative tour through the history and impact of the Bible. Building upon the lessons we learned about the enduring consideration God has for the Jewish people yesterday, today’s focus shifted to Jesus’s promise for us in the New Testament. The Word was made flesh in the birth of Jesus; a new covenant was made in the death of the Messiah. One of the exhibits in the MOTB was especially illuminating. As we walked in, we were taken back to Nazareth, just as it would have looked in Jesus’s time. From an olive oil press to a carpenter’s bench, to a home with traditional foods from the time and a few museum staff “in character,” the exhibition created a unique opportunity to see the humanity of Jesus in an experiential way.

From there, we went on to see other special exhibits like the virtual reality tour of the Holy Land, an impressive collection of antiquities from Israel, and a sobering exhibit on the slave Bible. In this exhibit, I was taken aback—to put it lightly—at the wanton manipulation of scripture that perverted a holy text meant to liberate all people in order to encourage bondage and violence. It was angering and served as another reminder of the desperate need the world still has for the love and redemption of Jesus.

I did not expect to enjoy our special tour of the Capital Building as much as I did. The building was packed with eager onlookers, gawking at the stately architecture and sculptures that studded the building. We saw the inaugural steps, walked the same halls of our forefathers and our proud civic servants today, and soaked in the rich patriotism of the artwork adorning the Capital’s dome.

We closed the day with a drive outside the city center to an overwhelming and beautiful church—The Washington National Cathedral. This gorgeous neo-gothic structure is still an operational Episcopal church today and we had the unique opportunity to participate in an Evensong Worship service this evening.  Simply sitting under the vaults and among the detailed stained glass of the cathedral compelled me to thank God for the beauty of His creation and the fluttering notes of the choral music during the service weaved a sense of peace throughout the sacred space.

We have had such an incredible experience already, learning, growing, and enjoying each other’s company. Tomorrow there is even more in store!


Beth Armstrong,
Director of Adult Ministries