Man it’s hot and going to get hotter! How’s the rain? My first week has gone by so quickly and I’ve packed so much in. Today I’m taking it easy – nice breakfast outdoors, a wander in all the fabric shops and habdasherys that are in the area (my kind of place), a Date and Milk Smoothie from the market and a chance to remember everything I’ve done this week!
Last Sunday I took a trip to Mount Zion – the site of King David’s tomb (of Goliath fame), Oskar Schindler’s grave, Mary’s “eternal sleep” the site of the Last Supper and the room the disciples received the holy spirit (same place) This site is also important is Judaism and Islam – the Last Supper Room later became a mosque.
At one point in the Upper Room Korean Christians were celebrating mass, Pentecostals praying in “tongues”, a large tour group from Turkey taking photos in the mihrab and a Jewish man trying to sell me a blessing.
I found solace with Oskar away from all the madness. I was surprised that no-one was at the graveyard, Schindler is kind of a big deal.
There is a mental health condition known as Jerusalem Syndrome, in which people so overcome by the significance of the place, believe themselves to be a prophet and start preaching in a holy place. This ends up in a short stay in a Jerusalem psychiatric unit and a full recovery.
I am in no danger of getting this condition.
In fact I am in more danger of telling everyone to get a grip and go have falafel and some lemon mint ice – so good!
It’s great to visit these places and to recognize that you are following in some pretty significant footsteps, but are these places anymore ‘holy’ than say Royal Avenue? I am not buying that they are.
I am witnessing that spending time looking at where Jesus has been, means we can miss where He currently is.
How many of our churches are existing on the dregs of the good old days? Becoming beautiful museums of the past instead of living communities shaping the future. How many Christians have declared that the Church building is exclusively holy and that everything that goes on inside is holy?
He is not here, he is risen.
I can’t escape this.
Outside of the Holy City, I helped an elderly man use the ticket machine for the tram. Neither of us spoke each other’s language. Our smiles and nods on our short journey together, indicated that I’m getting closer to finding where Jesus is.