Saturday, November 10, 2007

Texans in the West Bank #5

It is difficult to find words to do justice to the history and significance of the “old city” in Jerusalem. Invaded twenty-eight times, dominated by twelve different foreign powers, claimed by three world religions – Jerusalem is a multi-layered marvel, full of conflicts, contradictions and re-used stones.

Today, we followed the path Jesus took from his arrest until he was laid in the tomb. (Of course, the exact location of several of these events is hotly debated and the appearance of many of them has been so radically altered by the “faithful” that they bear little, if any, resemblance to what people of Jesus time would have seen and experienced.) In spite of this, to walk some of the same paths (and even some of the same stones) that Jesus walked, to see the land and the people, and to experience some of the same conflicts and tensions that he faced, is a sobering and enriching experience. It is also sobering and encouraging to realize that Jesus’ love and salvation reach beyond human barriers and boundaries. They penetrate the hearts of people and draw them to him any time his people respond to his call.

It is also difficult to find words to tell about our experience tonight at the Culture Center of Ramallah. A new film, which tells the story of Jesus’ ministry through the eyes of Mary Magdellan, was presented there and we were privileged to help. Over 1200 people came. The theater only seats 800 so many were standing. A thousand copies of the film were handed out at the end. We were divided into two groups. Some of us prayed for those who watched the film. The rest of us helped a group of about ten young Palestinian Christians work with about 120 children under ten who came. Before the showing, we met with the young Palestinians and prayed for the showing. This is the first time that the film has been shown to the public and no one was sure what would happen. But we knew who would be in control It was awesome.

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