The picture above is me at Mount Nebo. I am wearing a crimson sweater that I bought in Bozrah and my blue and white tzitzit that I have tied to my belt loops. Mount Nebo is where Moses died, and where he is supposed to have given an epic speech that ultimately became the book of Deuteronomy in the Torah. Mount Nebo overlooks the entire Jordan River Valley, and behind me you should be able to see Israel, but on the day I went it was incredibly rainy and foggy. Maybe that’s a sign of some sort, Wilson? Next to me is a rendition of the bronze serpent that Moses lifted up in order to protect the people who were dying of the plague. Now the site is currently managed by Franciscan monks. So they put a verse from the New Testament under the monument: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that anyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” (John 3:14-15) Maybe that’s also a sign, Wilson? I can make a lot out of the event of lifting the serpent, and I can also make a lot out of the New Testament reference to it. This isn’t the place for it, though. I’ll just close that bit by saying that I’ve been a son of man, and I’ve been a serpent, and I’ve been lifted up.
Beyond that, I’ll just say that this ends the bike tour. Yeah, that was the tour, Wilson. Lisbon to Mount Nebo. Now I will still be riding the bike. And my journey isn’t over. But this ends this particular trip. It was meant to start at the edge of the world and continue through the halls of power, the houses of philosophy, the palaces of comfort and excess, and the wild desert toward the Promised Land. I stand at Mount Nebo. And it’s time for God to let the world know if I am just going to stop here, or if I am supposed to go somewhere else, or if I am supposed to go to Israel. I’ll be going toward Israel soon, and I will either enter soon, or I will jack around with entering for a little while before understanding that I am supposed to go somewhere else. When it’s really done, I’ll let you know how it turned out. But the tour was for me to stand on Mount Nebo and say, “God, What’s it going to be? World, What’s it going to be?”
So I’ll put the Jordan rides below. I actually left Madaba where Mount Nebo is yesterday, and am writing from Amman Jordan, where I am getting some supplies and resting for Shabbat before I continue. I’ll put the last couple of rides after Nebo in this list just to have everything up to date and to nod to the continuance of my journey. But this will be the last post of this kind where I catalog my bike rides on my blog on the epic bicycle journey. The tour is now complete. The statement has been made. This particular story has been told. We will find out what it meant later. And life continues on.
The Climb from the Sea of Death
So those are the rides of the tour, with the tour ending with Nebo, and Amman included just to let you know I am still on the bike, still riding, but that this particular story has been closed. If anyone wants to track where I am riding around from here, I’ll be on Strava. And with that, I will end this post with a bit of scripture for you to contemplate on your own. Shabbat Shalom.
Who is this who comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah, he who is splendid in his apparel, marching in the greatness of his strength?Isaiah 63:1-6
“It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.”
Why is your apparel red, and your garments like his who treads in the winepress?
“I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their lifeblood spattered on my garments, and stained all my apparel. For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption had come. I looked, but there was no one to help; I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold; so my own arm brought me salvation, and my wrath upheld me. I trampled down the peoples in my anger; I made them drunk in my wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”