Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News
Churches often arrange day trips for seniors. That, in fact, is one of duties these days – to help plan such excursions. Some, like most sermons, are more exciting than others. I cringe at the thought of planning a trip that turns out to be a waste of time.
Now and then a trip I figured would be humdrum turns out to be most enjoyable. When my wife signed us up to go with a group to see the Bonny Plant Farm in Union Springs, I took along a good book. Was I surprised! What those folks are doing on such a big scale is extraordinary.
some of us are driving over to
One key to a successful trip is making it back on the same day you leave. The reason is simple. Most old folks like to sleep in their own beds at night. They don’t mind leaving early but they want to be back home by dark.
The best trip
I have taken lately was to see the Explorations in
Our guided tour began at the entrance designed like a time tunnel with columns spanning 2000 years (Canaanite, Minoan, Israelite, and Corinthian). Remarkable replicas of four ancient temples are constructed near the columns. The volunteer guide was well versed in the history of ancient times.
He led us inside where we listened to Dr. Jim Fleming talk about life in biblical times. The good doctor spoke informally for an hour that seemed like fifteen minutes. Fleming, founder and CEO of the World of the Bible Center Foundation, is one of the world’s most knowledgeable scholars of biblical antiquity studies.
Lunch was served in a large room designed to show us the way a first century banquet meal would have been served. The food was excellent, to my surprise, since I had halfway expected we might have to eat grasshoppers dipped in chocolate.
Several dishes were prepared using ancient recipes used for Passover and very likely used by Jesus for what we call the Last Supper.
Fortunately we did not forsake the use of chairs as was the custom in the days of Jesus. However, we did have to eat with our hands and without the use of the customary utensils. Knowing this in advance we had all washed our hands carefully.
Bowls of food items were placed on each table and these we shared with others. Some of the foods served were grapes, olives, artichoke dip, dried fruit, apples, unsalted mixed nuts, honey, unleavened bread, carrots, lettuce salad, lentil soup, chicken or beef on a skewer, applesauce, hummus (a paste of mashed chickpeas), bitter herbs (hot pepper, green onion, parsley), grape juice or water to drink. Red or white wine was offered to those who desired it.
With no fork
or spoon available we used the bread (soft tortillas) to scoop up the dip or
other items. My two sisters,
Instead of an “after dinner” speaker, we had a very astute woman lecture us while we ate. She was both interesting and entertaining though she crammed a two-hour talk into about 75 minutes.
After lunch we strolled through an open courtyard as our guide showed us archaeological replicas of items from daily life in biblical days. She made biblical stories come alive for us as she talked about the wilderness setting, farming terraces, desert waterfall oasis, sheepfold cave, drilling wells, vineyard terraces, and burial tombs. They also have an area for children called "Kid's Dig" with replicas of excavations: dinosaur bones, Roman house, and an Egyptian temple.
resources in the museum store were reasonable. There are many educational
materials and products from
you have traveled extensively in the Bible lands you will a trip to the