Say what? That’s right. Our Holy Land pilgrimage comes complete with a gondola ride. Where to? The Mount of Temptation. How else does one get from here:
The Scripture from St. Matthew reads, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (4:1) I don’t know about you but I’d rather take a 15 minute gondola ride, enjoy the view, and head back down. No need to fast 40 days/nights and then be tempted by the devil.
“Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; and he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.'” (4:8-9) Yeah, no, I’m good; thanks. The gondola view is just fine with me.
Anyway, what made me think of all this is a piece Foxnews.com ran in their Travel section. (To give credit where it is due, it was actually put together by Condé Nast Traveler.) What got me was that they didn’t include the Holy Land gondola ride! Ok, a ride through the Alps is beautiful and so is Croatia. But Jesus wasn’t tempted by the devil on the slopes in Switzerland!
Not only is the Mount of Temptation gondola a beautiful ride (see below) but it is such a unique opportunity. Everyone who has gone skiing or hiking has taken a gondola ride. But to do so from one of the oldest cities on earth to the place where Jesus conquered the devil…now that’s a gondola ride worth taking! When your friends brag about taking a gondola ride in Sydney over the zoo, you can say, “Oh? That’s nice. We rode the one up to where Jesus said, ‘Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.‘ Havvvvve a nice day.” (Of course you’d say it in a Christian manner and all.)
But really, taking a pilgrimage to the Holy Land means walking in the Sea of Galilee, touching the place where Jesus was born, riding a gondola onto the Mount of Temptation and a whole lot more. It’s worth every penny.