Saturday, July 31, 2010

Today we went to the Holy Cross Monastery to see the place where tradition says that the tree which became Christ's Cross grew.  Then we went to the Israeli Museum.  Because of Sabbath, there were a lot of people there.  But we went to see the Shrine of the Book.  That is where they have some of the Dead Sea Scrolls on exhibit.  These are the scrolls that were found that contain most of the Old Testament Books.  It was very interesting to see the history behind them and also the Codices. Then we went to see the Model of the Old City during the time of the second Temple.  In other words the time of Christ.  We went to eat at an Armenian Restaurant. Then went to a Russian Orthodox Chapel that celebrates the Death of Christ by having the Gate on their property that Jesus went through on the way to Calvary. And now Jim & Eileen are preparing to leave this evening. The pictures are of a map of the old city at the time of Jesus. And the second is of a picture of the Resurrection at the Russian Church.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Today we went to the Ein Karem, the site of Mary's Visit to Elizabeth. This town reminds you of most people's concept of a biblical town.  It is really a beautiful town in the Judean hills.  You have to climb a very steep hill to get to Elizabeth's & Zechariah's Summer Home where the visit took place.  There are Churches on two different levels. The upper and the lower church are quite different. Both are unique. Then we walked down the hill to the Birthplace of John the Baptist (winter home).  After that, we took a bus to the Western Wall.  The only remains of the Second Temple.  We went to the wall and watched all the people praying and getting ready for the Sabbath.  Then we went to some ruins of the South Wall and saw the remains of the entrance and exit to the Temple at the time of Christ.  These remains were just uncovered 20 or 30 years ago. Also you can see the Booths that merchants sold animals, etc. for sacrifice.  After a Lunch of falafels, we went to the site where Jesus was imprisoned and Peter denied Jesus.  There still are steps there that are thought to be have been the steps Jesus used to go the Upper Room, then to the Mount of Olives and then back to Caiphas & Pilate.  It was a fery enjoyable and prayerful day.  The first picture is of the Church of St. Peter and the second is a closeup of the mosaic where Jesus forgives Peter on the outside of the church.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Today was a busy day.  Took a taxi to Damascus Gate and an Arab bus to the top of Mount of Olives.  We went to the Ascension Church on top of Mount of Olives.  Went to the Pater Noster Church where Jesus taught the Our Father.  Walked down the path to the place where Jesus wept over Jerusalem.  Has a beautiful view of the city and the Golden Gate where Jesus went through for the Palm Sunday Entry.  Now it is walled up and the Jews are waiting for the Messiah to come through there. Continued down to the Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene.  Then on to the Church of the Agony but first walked through the very, very old Olive Trees by the Church.  Then on to the Tomb of Mary.  And finally found Gethsemane which means Olive Press.   Then we went to Zion gate where the Upper Room and the Tomb of David is located.  Next to this is the Church of the Dormition where Mary fell asleep.  Had a little to eat and then went on our trip through the Via Dolorosa.  Stopped at all the Stations and had prayers at each one.  Some College students from Fance asked help at the Holy Sepulcher.  Had a very nice visit with them. There was so much traffic today in Jerusalem.  Everyone was complaining about it. It was a full day but very enjoyable and memorable. The pictures are of the outside of the Tomb of Mary.  The second is a picture of the outside of Mary Magdalene.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Missed yesterday because I didn't have internet service.  Just got back from the Sea of Galilee Area.  Went to the sites of the Baptism of Jesus, the Multiplication of the Loaves & Fish, Table of Christ / Primacy of Peter, Capernahum, Mt of Beatitudes on Tuesday.  We stayed at a Catholic German Guest House on the Sea of Galilee.  It was very simple and nice.  On Wednesday, we went to the sites of the Transfiguration / Mt. Tabor, the Annunciation, St. Joseph's Church / Workshop, the Synagogue in Nazareth, St. Gabriel's Church, Mary's Well. That was a lot to visit in two days, but we survived and are ready to go tomorrow.  WIll give another report tomorrow. The pictures are of the Basilica of the Annunciation and a picture in the Synagogue where Jesus taught.  Both of these sites are in Nazareth.

Monday, July 26, 2010

First of all today, we went to the Shepherd’s Field. There is a beautiful Church there that still overlooks the shepherds and their fields to this day. After that we went to Manger Church and got into the site of the Birth of Christ right before the Armenians had their Services. Then we looked around the Church which is governed by the Greek Orthodox & Armenians. The we went to the Catholic Church of St. Catherine. This Church lays up to the Nativity Church. In it is the site of St. Jerome Monastery where he translated the Bible from many as languages into Latin. Then we went to the Milk Grotto where Joseph was told to take his family to Egypt. Than we went to the Market area of the locals. So many fresh vegetables and other items iwere for sale. Then took a break for lunch. Went to a few shops and walked through the Checkpoint. During our stay, it was interesting to hear the Palestinian take on the Wall going around the Palestinan Area. Had a very strange taxi ride from the Checkpoint to the Apartment.  After a little rest, we went to the Holy Sepulcher and had prayer with the Franciscans.  Because there were still so many people in line for the tomb, we had supper nearby and then went back and only had to wait a few minutes to go into where Jesus was laid to rest. The picture is of Jim & Eileen in front of the Tomb of Jesus and the birth place of Jesus.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Today I welcomed Jim & Eileen Will to Israel.  They arrived about 5:30 in the afternoon. I met them at the airport and we took a shared taxi back to my apartment.  The nice thing about the shared taxi with about 9 or 10 other people is that you get to see some of the different parts of Jerusalem as you drop off the other people.   We were the last to be dropped off..  We had supper together at a little cafe down the street and talked about the Holy Land.  And also made plans for tomorrow.  I got a call from my Palestinian Taxi Driver tonight.  He will take us around the city stopping at different sites in Bethlehem.  It should be fun.  Fill you in tomorrow.