Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Here I am to Worship...
Here I am to Bow Down...
I don’t think that I have mentioned that part of our justification for coming on this "trip of a lifetime" was because Anthony and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary later this year. I mean when you spend this much money… you really have to justify it, right? Well, another justification… was my 40th birthday. I think some of you missed that… I know I wasn’t clear about it…. But when I said “Celebrating Forty Years in the Desert”… I meant mine!
Yesterday we arrived in Jerusalem. Our first stop was the Mount of Olives. The guide educated us on where we were... and what lay before us. The Temple Mount. The steps of the 2nd Temple that Herod had built. Old Jerusalem. The City of David.
Another highlight was singing together on the Mount of Olives overlooking the incredible historic sacred view... "Blessed Be Your Name" and "Here I am to Worship." Here I am to worship... Here I am to bow down... and so I did! Right towards the Temple. Towards the Holy of Holies... How cool is that!
Author Joel Rosenberg commented on Israel being the "epicenter" of the world. Jerusalem is the "epicenter" of Israel. The Temple Mount is the "epicenter" of Jerusalem. He encouraged us to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Psalm 122:6). There is such a struggle for this piece of land. Warfare. Physical as well as spiritual.
Via Dolorosa (the last steps of Jesus) and visited the Holy Sepulcher (where some say Jesus was crucified, buried and rose from the dead).
Reality was most of the Via Dolorosa is in the Muslim quarter. It was dark and dirty and filled with shops. There were so many people and none of them looking very concerned that they were where Jesus had been. And the Holy Sepulcher... really, what would Jesus think of six different "communities" fighting over his last moments? Didn't Jesus teach of love and peace and patience? To say the least, I was dismayed and wanted to run away from there.
I am thoroughly mentally and physically exhausted. I really was naive and expected to come to Israel and be renewed spiritually... however, I have found the opposite. Everything is so rushed on the tours... I've had to blog every day so that I can remember what I did or thought... and there is so much division between the Jews, Muslims, and Catholics... There is no peace here.
I really don't want to burst anyone's bubble in my posts about the Holy Land... but in a way, I wish I had really understood... what I already knew to be true... God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit do not reside in these artifacts or places. They are with us always. Everywhere we go. If we ask, Jesus will come into our hearts and live there. Oh, I am so grateful to know the truth... Thank you, my Risen Savior, Jesus!