Wednesday, April 28, 2010
On our way home from Poland on ELAL we had to fly back through Jerusalem with a 40 hour layover so we decided to walk so we walked city of Jerusalem starting at the Jaffa gate then on to Pool of Bethesda by the sheep market - from there we walked Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives, then on to Golgotha, and the Garden Tomb, from there we went to the Upper Room to finished up at the Western Wall and the temple institute! It took us four hours of solid walking, Outside of the city walls at the Jaffa Gate we hired a little Arab Man 60 years Old named Isaac He was a Muslim - Arab born and raised Muslim - was he a devout one? - no obviously with the name Isaac - He knew the Bible and said to me that the Bible never lies He knew about Jesus, the cross the resurrection the fact that and is coming back. He was telling us about all the miracles of Jesus - and was such a sweet little man - we talked about Salvation and having Jesus in your heart - I talked about meeting him inside the Eastern gate at the return of the King - however one thing i realized as a tour guide for 20 years he has seen the worst of religion - he had guided - Muslims - Catholics - Christians - Jews - Armenians - Greek Orthodox - Russian Orthodox - Coptic Christians - Baptist - Charismatic etc so it's the convergence of all these religious groups on a Holy City they all lay claim to and yet disagree with one another over ! Two Calvary's Two Tombs - Temples, Mosques, Synagogues, Cathedrals, Churches, scattered throughout the city - all claiming the way - as Muslims in the Muslim quarter sell Wooden crosses with Jesus on them and shofars - anything for a shekel !!!!!!!!!!!!
Mary's Birthplace, tomb, David's Tomb, Some saints from down through the centuries - many myths and fables - beliefs, theories, artifacts, excavations, icons, souvenir's candles, oils, paintings, carvings, postcards, t-shirts, spices, food, coffee shops, institutes, from the backslidden of all faiths to the radical of all faiths - one has a sense that anything could happen at anytime - it was like Jerusalem was a ticking clock with the clock about to strike the midnight hour - many seemed oblivious to their plight - just consumed with the business of religion - plotting and planning the arrival of the next shekel - while priests stood and puffed away on their cigarettes - each site had to be reverenced and each place had their collection plate or the box at the door - Looked to me like the churches in America - like the Christian Booksellers Convention or the National Religious Broadcasters - the money changers were everywhere - idolatry rampant - it's Religion at it's finest !!!!!!!!!!! Jerusalem Jerusalem you who missed your day of Visitation. - After our tour we then said goodbye to Isaac and ate a late lunch at an Armenian Restaurant right near the Jaffa Gate - then came back to the Hotel to shower, pack and take a Shuttle to Tel Aviv - then board a flight for the big apple and then home to Florida!