“When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.” – Psalm 126:1-3

The seventh Psalm of Ascent could have been written in the sky as we visited our last stop today.

Mary Magdalene is one of my favorite Bible characters. Her love and loyalty toward Jesus always stirs me when I read the scriptures.

Mary got this name because she was from Magdala, a town archaelogists had given up on finding.

Kinda like most people had on Mary.

See, Mary was an obvious sinner. She was demon possessed seven times over.

And Magdala was a small town. About a decade ago, some contractors stumbled upon the ancient site during construction. What the archaelogists discovered afterward was a wealthy and religious fishing town of around 200 people.

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When you’re messed up like she was, in a small town, news traveled fast. Mary became the woman everyone shunned.

When Jesus was asked why He tolerated Mary’s presence, He said it was because those who’ve been forgiven much, love much.

And Jesus forgave Mary of a lot.

As I stood at the excavated synagogue, I couldn’t help but picture Jesus teaching there, as was his habit in Galilee. And I couldn’t help but think that a shunned failure like Mary possibly found forgiveness on the very seats I leaned on.

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Wherever it was that she met Jesus in the town, when she did, she found freedom, hope, and a new purpose. God “turned again” her “captivity” and replaced her sorrow with laughter.

I lingered at that ancient synagogue. I’d never seen anything like it, but it felt very familiar. Because Jesus came to my town and set me free too.

Jesus came to seek and save what was lost.

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” – Psalm 126:5-6

I’m so thankful Jesus rescued me. That He came and found me. That He forgave my much sin. And I have great joy now because of all He’s done.

You don’t have to be in Israel to tell Him that 🙂 And you don’t have to be in Israel to serve Him joyfully from this day forward. Why not follow Mary’s example today?

Below are links from Facebook to earlier videos I put up from Day #3.

 

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