It is the end of our first full day in Jerusalem. Today our guide, Adrian, led us around the old city of Jerusalem. The city is a brief five-minute bus ride from our comfortable hotel.
We are fortunate to have an excellent tour guide, with an great knowledge not only of the places we visit, but of the scriptural and historical background.
Just to prove we are all here, this is our group at the entrance to the Church.
This church is built over the known sites of the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus. Just inside the entrance to the right, is the place of the crucifixion of Jesus: the hill of Calvary. A few metres away is the place of the burial of Jesus. Crowds queue to enter this holy place of the tomb of Jesus.
The highlight of each day is the celebration of the Mass at one of the holy places. This morning when we left the hotel we did not have a place booked for Mass. In an extraordinary turn of events we were able to gather for Mass at the chapel immediately beside the tomb of Jesus’ resurrection.
As we gathered back at the hotel later in the day, this was the event of the day that most ‘touched the heart’ of many of our group. So often the things we plan do not happen according to our plan, and then something even more wonderful happens. Then there are other times when what we plan does happen in accordance with our plan, and the result is a mediocre, limited and temporary measure of happiness. After the visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Adrian led us through the city to lunch, and to the Temple Mount. Our session back at the hotel gave a good opportunity to reflect together on the significance of the day for each of us. Social time over drinks and dinner continued the friendship that is growing between us.
Some images from the day:
|Looking back towards the rooftop of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
(two grey domes are above Calvary and the tomb)
|Looking towards Temple Mount. Dome of the Rock (gold) to the left.
|Adrian shows a map of the Temple Mount as it was in the time of Jesus.
Note the area marked in yellow –
this is the Wailing Wall remaining today.