Given the Church of the Nativity closure and self-quarantine of tourists—including 13 Alabama Baptists—locals fear the economy won’t be resurrected by Easter. Visitors to Israel are now required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, according to safety measures implemented by the Israeli government in response to the global COVID-19 outbreak. The new policy has put a major dampener on Easter pilgrimages to the Holy Land—where 6 out of 10 tourists were Christians in 2018—dealing yet another blow to communities heavily dependent on foreign visitors. The dramatic plunge comes with “tragic consequences” for the region, where tourism is a significant…

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28 (NLT). A man was walking down a dusty road on a hot, humid day. He was loaded down with a heavy backpack and carried a duffel bag in each hand. A pick-up truck came along. The driver stopped and called to the man, “Hop on. I’ll give you a ride.” The man got into the back of the truck. Several miles down the road, the driver looked into his rear-view mirror and saw, to his surprise,…