Holy Land Pilgrimage

No razor shall touch his head

March 8, 2020

Hannah made a vow before the Lord asking to be blessed with a child.  If she was blessed with a son he would be given back to the Lord. “Then I will set him before you as a nazarite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head” (1 Sam 1:11).  She was blessed with her son, Samuel, who she dedicated to the Lord and who would become a great prophet in Israel.  Today we were blessed to visit and pray at Samuel’s tomb. From there we were taken to Beth Shemesh, which is the site where the Philistines gave the Ark of the Covenant back to the Israelites and we prayed through 1 Samuel 6. Our morning was a blessing getting to pray with the Prophet Samuel.

Our afternoon may have been the most anticipated leisurely activity of the trip. After visiting Qumran, where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947, we ventured a little way to a nice little beach on the Dead Sea. After failed attempts at walking on water, we decided to float, which is quite the experience. The Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth, and has the saltiest water at about 33% salinity, in comparison to the 3% of the oceans. It took little to no effort to stay afloat, but it was difficult avoiding splashing and getting water in the eyes.

The day was a blessed reminder that seminarians can enjoy leisurely days at the beach all the while of listening to the voice of God, as Samuel did, as he said, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10)


Derek Hooper

Diocese of Jefferson City

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