Monday, February 23, 2009

Almost complete

I am finally reflecting on the last day of our trip to Israel. The first thing we did was pack up to leave Jerusalem. Jerusalem is an amazing city that I would like to return to one day, but before leaving we got to walk across the Old City to the Temple Mount.

We almost missed our opportunity to go up on top because of the tensions going on while we were there, but we managed to get through security. Corey almost didn't make it through because he got behind someone from another group. This meant that the rest of had to wait on this walk way over looking the wailing wall. I am not complaining on the wait because we got to see the men in prayer shawls setting up for the scripture reading that happens every Tuesday. Once we had our entire group we made it up onto the temple area.

I felt the most tension in this place that I had the entire time we were there. I could sense the reasons for animosity and the various religious traditions pulling against each other. It was a sacred place, but it was full of fear, pride, and bitterness... from many sides. This made me want to cry this morning when I was reading in 1 Chr 22.

God appointed Solomon to build the Jewish temple because he would be a peaceful man, known for peace... we were there in the midst of war.

The Dome of the Rock is a beautiful structure. We were not allowed to go inside, but the gold layering on top and the beautiful tile work make this a site to be seen... however you interpret it.

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