A Day of YESes in the Holy Land

 Cana Bitzer Holy Land 4Scott and I began the day waking up and thinking, “We slept on the Mount of Beatitudes! So hard to believe! How can the day get any better?” Then our pilgrimage took us to the town of Cana. You know it; it’s the place where Jesus performed his first miracle changing water into wine at a wedding feast (John 2:1-11). This is one of the places that I was excited to come to and told many people about because I knew that it was here that we would have the opportunity to renew our wedding vows after 30 years of marriage!

It was what I thought it would be and more. By the time we got to this moment in our pilgrimage, our new friendships brought many of us to tears seeing the others celebrate their renewal of two becoming one that day. (Genesis 2:18-24) – I will make a suitable partner for him. It was a day of YESes! In this town Jesus so long ago said Yes to his mother, even though it was not yet his time. The YES of 6 couples renewing their yes to their spouse with such love and joy on their faces was wonderful.

Two more stops later that day to the Basilica of the Annunciation and St. Joseph’s church and I thought to myself, “two more yeses”. The place where Mary said YES to God through the Angel Gabriel (Luke 1: 26-38); without which we would not be in this Holy Land and together on pilgrimage. And Joseph’s YES; deciding to stay with Mary after an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream (Matthew 1:18-25).

Commitments, we all make them, we all say yes almost every week. But the big Yes of marriage is much more than the average yes. For us, it’s a love lasting more than 30 years, growing stronger each year. It’s not without hardship or fear or compromise, just like Mary and Joseph’s yes so many years ago.

 Lord God, we ask you to continue to be in the midst of two becoming one in every marriage. It is You who carries us through our journey. Keep us strong, committed and in Love for eternity even when it’s not easy to say Yes!   Amen

Scott and Kathy Bitzer were married October 11, 1986 at St. John Fisher Church in Newtown, Ohio and renewed their vows on May 26, 2016 in the little village of Cana, Israel. Kathy is responsible for PREP program at St. Andrew and Scott is an Usher and both are Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. They have been members of St. Andrew for 30 years.