The sun rises on a warm Mediterranean morning, illuminating the sea and a curved coastline. We are in the Spanish region of Murcia, along with all the tourists, enjoying a few days of summertime rest on the sunny beaches. In the winter, all that will remain will be a few sandy footprints. Murcia’s landscape is one of the most varied and protected in Spain, including the largest natural lake in Spain, a saltwater lagoon that extends 4o miles.
Although 85% of the people claim to be Catholic, less than half actually practice their faith. Perhaps they can’t truly satisfy their soul’s thirst in the Holy City of Caravaca de la Cruz. How can we let them know that God speaks to them of his love and salvation wherever they are?
If we look at Murcia’s past as we would a history book, we would travel first to the many examples of pre-historic paintings, declared World Heritage sites. In the next chapter we would visit the Bronze Age and the Bastida of Totana. After that comes the Roman Invasion, seen in Cartagena’s forum and amphitheater. Next we travel through five centuries of Muslim domination as we visit the Castle of Monteagudo and many other castles and forts all throughout Murcia. Coming to the present, we witness their history plagued by change: changes in rulers, people and culture. The same sun has seen it all, the births and deaths, the sun that proclaims the glory of a God who in every age has sent emissaries of His message. Murcia, God loves you.
Lord Jesus, help us communicate the life we have in You to the mountains, the towns, the cities and beaches. We want each person to hear your Word: that you died and rose again so that each new morning can have purpose and hope. That even the crashing of the waves will speak your presence into the most routine moments of life, bringing repentance and thirst for something new, something alive, and something true. May Your light shine, an unavoidable encounter with You in Murcia, marking a new chapter in its history, so that no one can say they do not know that in Jesus there is abundant life.
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