Today was another full day in the Holy Land. First we went to the Temple Mount. It is amazing to think that this is probably a place where Jesus spent a lot of time here on earth. It was equally sad to think that this place has caused wars between the Jews, Christians and Muslims. A place of so much holiness has been turned i nto an excuse to treat one another so poorly. For me, a lot of the land of Israel has been a mix of beauty, holiness and conflict. The Temple Mount only reiterated this feeling.
From there we continued to the Western Wall. This was a very interesting experience as we were able to pray against the wall. It was a shame that all of the women were not able to experience the Western Wall has it has become segregated between men and women. The women were given a very small section of the wall and not all of them were able to reach the wall before our time there had expired. Again, holiness in the midst of division.
We continued onward to the archaeological park where we saw the “Eye of the Needle”. It was amazing to think that Jesus probably stood on the very stairway that we were standing on. We continued after lunch to the Jerusalem museum where we saw some of the Dead Sea Scrolls and an impressive model of Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. To see the city as a visual model will be something that I will not soon forget. To visually trace the footsteps of Jesus during the Passion was very helpful. Having our minds filled, we left for St. Peter’s Cathedral to have our spiritual thirst quenched.
At St. Peter’s Cathedral we descended into the pit where tradition has it, Christ spent the night before his crucifixion. This site was the place where the high priest lived. It is also the site where Peter denied Jesus. With all of these events happening here, it was appropriate for us to reflect on the historical events, as well as those who still are in prisons around the world today. It was time well spent. One of the things I have liked most about our trip, is that we have enough time that we can also pray about what we see, feel, and hear. This was a very quick synopsis of our time in Jerusalem today. I continue to hold all of you at home in our prayers and hope that this blog edifies your soul as well. May the Lord strengthen and keep you. Amen.
Drew Ensz (for the group)
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