Israel: Day 6
We title today: Two Rainbows Over Jerusalem. Of course to have rainbows
you have to have rain. And we had rain. Fortunately though it
occurred in the afternoon after we had already descended the Mount of
Olives and visited the "Wailing" Wall.
The day began with standing atop the Mount of Olives and receiving a
lesson from Andre on Jerusalem geography. Once we got our bearings we
pondered the great Pilgrim Psalm, Psalm 122 and prayed for the peace of
Jerusalem. We descended to the place where Jesus paused in his
triumphant entry to pray and weep over Jerusalem. Our devotion
encouraged us to consider our own journeys and what Christ was calling
us to do as he says, "Follow me."
We proceeded down to the bottom of the Mount to the Garden of
Gethsemane. We paused before the ancient olive trees in the garden and
imagined where Jesus may have knelt and prayed for the cup to pass and
for God's will to be done. Our devotion challenged us in our own prayer
lives and how we might trust God for the strength and guidance we need.
Then it was on to the Old City of Jerusalem where we visited what some
call the Wailing Wall, but what the people of Israel call simply The
Wall. Perhaps the holiest of all Jewish sites. Each took their turn
before the 2000 year old stones and prayed. From there we toured the
foundations of the original first century Temple through the Western
Wall tunnel and saw cut stones 50 million tons big. King Herod knew how
As the rain began that was our cue for lunch. But on our way we looked
behind us to see a rainbow rising in the sky, arching over the Temple
Mount reminding us again that God never gives up on us.
We spread ourselves around the Jewish Quarter for some sandwiches. After
lunch and on our way to the bus we saw another rainbow higher in the
sky -- as if to say, "Don't forget!" We loaded up and traveled to the
Israel Museum and viewed the Shrine of the Book which contains exhibits
of the Qumran Dead Sea Scrolls. Original fragments are on display.
We ended the day with a sobering visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust
Memorial and Museum. The exhibits are nearly overwhelming with the
suffering of so many at the hands of the Nazi's. Man's inhumanity to
man. The final exhibit was the Children's Memorial, a darkened room
with endless points of light. Each point a reflection from one light. I
couldn't help think of God pointing Abraham to the star filled sky and
assuring him of the countless descendants he would someday have. 1.5
million children of the Holocaust - all points of light and sons and
daughters of Abraham.
Wet and tired we made our way back to the hotel with the abiding sense
that the only light that can dispel the darkness is the light of
Christ. And our only hope - the God who made his promise to us in the