We have had perfect weather. What a gift! I love the energy of the Temple Mount and I was excited to start our day here.
Renee, Sheila, Gina, Brynne, Mindi, Jenn, Karen , Lindsey, Michelle, Bonnie
Our next stop at the pools of Bethesda also spoke to me. All of us have infirmities in which we must wait upon the Lord. He is the master healer.
Bella, True, Chris, Annabelle
Hannah, Chris, Drew, Bella, Daniel, Julie
The neighboring church of St Anne’s has wonderful acoustics and we were graced with an impressive rendition of Ava Maria by Brad.
Our next stop in the Old City was the Antonia Fortress where it is believed that Christ was tried and Paul was kept as a prisoner. We went to the traditional spot where Christ was flogged and I just felt sick, my energy drained. It was the antithesis of what I had experienced at Bethesda. I was weighed down and my soul felt heavy and exhausted.
By the time we reached the Damascus Gate I was ready for rejuvenation.
Drew and Juliette
Drew and I sat outside at the Shrine of the Book and reflected on the model of the Old City of Jerusalem. Once again I was struck by the prominence of the temple. It is enormous compared to the city. We had finished reading “For the Temple” and listening to the Jews desperate plight to save their temple. The whole community was built around the temple.
Thoughts: Bethlehem provided the sacrifices for the temple.
Sacrifices came from the east of the temple and the blood had to be split on the north side. When you came to the temple the first thing you did was offer your sacrifices and then you were washed and holy clothing was placed upon you and you were anointed. The symbolism to Christ and our modern temples was beautifully apparent. I felt such gratitude that the Gilbert temple was so close to my home and attendance there had become part of my weekly devotions to God. It has become as essential to me as it was for the Jews.
From the museum we went to Bethany where Mary and Martha lived and where Lazarus was raised from the dead. Jesus is a God of Miracles. From Mary and Martha I have learned deeper faith, deeper love and to put the things of heaven before the things of this earth.
In the moonlight we returned to the Temple Mount where we had started but this time we got a chance to pray at the Wailing Wall and feel the power and devotion of our Jewish brothers and sisters. Standing side by side with these devout Jewish sisters and my dear sister friends from the trip I felt a kinship to “their” temple and it became “our” temple. This is where our Lord and Savior came to worship. This is where Nehemiah and Ezra sacrificed everything to build up the walls. This is where Isaiah and Hezekiah waited for the Assyrians to come. This is where the twelve apostles came to offer sacrifice. As I pressed by hand against the wall I felt a closeness to my Biblical heritage and I wanted to honor those OT prophets more by studying their words. This drawing to the temple and to ponder on the words of the Bible continued to matriculate through my mind as we toured the Hasmonean tunnel and went back through the centuries to envision what things were like at the meridian of time.