Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter in Jerusalem

Spending Easter in Jerusalem is something I never expected to do and I admit that I thought it would be full of the Easter spirit but I soon learned otherwise. Because Jerusalem is such a diverse city (Jews/Muslims/Christians), it is a new experience altogether to be here the week that Jesus' death and resurrection are celebrated. One of the major observations that I have made is the impact of the Jewish Passover on this week. As I was walking through the Old City on Friday evening with a couple of friends, we noticed that many Orthodox Jews were headed towards the Western Wall for Sabbath prayers. This was particularly interesting to us because it was the Passover Sabbath and Jews from all around the world come to pray at the Western Wall for this occasion. The area next to the Temple Mount was full of people, singing and praying and reading the Torah together. As we watched and observed, the call to prayer sounded from a mosque next to the Temple Mount. The air was full of both Hebrew and Arabic, from two completely different religions that both claim belief in One True God whose followers are so similar yet at such odds with each other. They are neighbors but many are enemies. But I was struck at the sincerity in which followers of both religions seriously seek to know God, yet they are both so far from the Truth. Especially in a city like Jerusalem that is full of history of the life of Jesus Christ! It was a strange combination of Judaism and Islam and I left with a new sense of how hard so many people in this region of the world are trying to please God yet they have no idea of what this weekend really represents. Pray for the people of Jerusalem, that they may one day celebrate the Resurrection with us!

Posted by SH, a new member of our team.

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