advent Prorgam in Jericho

The second Sabeel Advent program was held in the ancient city of Jericho. Over 25 women gathered at the Roman Catholic Church “The good Shepherded.” Archimandrite Joseph Saghbini from the Melkite Church in Jerusalem reflected energetically on the spirituality of Advent and the religious rituals related to it that have developed over the centuries, beginning in the 4th. He continued by saying that the term spirituality refers to the personal relationship with God through individual prayers and litanies; our communication with God and how we nurture it. Rituals are the collective litanies and worship practices in which Christians corporately engage. Unless they are infused with a believer’s spirituality, they become empty and meaningless. As an example of spirituality, he gave the women the icon of the nativity and taught them how to interpret it. It is important to examine the icon closely and look for details—instead of simply gazing at it and not grasping its true meaning.

Basking in the warm weather of Jericho, the group went to Rawda restaurant and enjoyed a delicious Palestinian meal for lunch. Afterwards the women gathered into four groups and played a simple game. Displayed on the wall were pictures from the ritual of a birthday party (pictures of: cup and plate, hat, bag of sweets, gift etc.) and game leaders gave each participant seven Bible verses. The goal of the game was to create a match between each Bible verse and an image, and give rationale for why they chose that certain picture.

In the afternoon the participants were given free time in the city of Jericho to shop and enjoy the rest of the day socializing.

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