Today we sat on the southern steps of the temple mount where Jesus must have entered the temple numerous times. The disciples taught here and right near here over 3,000 were saved at Pentecost.
Today we prayed at the western wall of the temple mount where Jews come to pray from all over the world. At the right is a picture that Sharon took in the woman's section. Notice the tiny pieces of prayer pushed in between the stones. Aren't you glad that with Christ we don't need to leave a note but we can come boldly to the throne of grace? We walked through the old city, stopping at the remains of the Pools of Bethesda and singing in St. Annes Church. We began to notice an increased presence of Jewish police and soldiers throughout the Old City. Perhaps you have been hearing something on CNN about the increased tension in Jerusalem. It appears the Jewish authorities are trying to impress upon any Muslim who might decide to riot that this would not be a good idea. The reasons for the tension are varied but they include the dedication Tuesday of a rebuilt synagogue in the Old City, a rumor that the Jews are going to tear down Al Aksa mosque and rebuild the temple, and the recent announcement that the Jews are going to build 1.600 new apartments in East Jerusalem, the section of the city where most Arabs live.
In the afternoon we sat at the top of the Mount of Olives and learned about the city of Jerusalem. I taught here concerning the resurrection and then we walked down "palm Sunday road" to the church that commemorates the time when Jesus wept over the city. The pictures below are of me teaching and then Sharon in front of the Dome of the Rock and (closed) Eastern Gate to the temple mount.
We finished the day at the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus spent a night in prayer preparing to do His Father's will — "not my will but thine be done."
Then back to the hotel for a wonderful meal and then a great time of fellowship with some new friends (Mike and Renae) who are members of some of our old friends Ian and Connie Lawson from Alberta, Canada. The Christian community is small sometimes!
If you are reading this I'd ask that you spend a moment in prayer praying for the peace of Jerusalem and for good safety tomorrow as we tour in a city with a little tension within it tonight. I do not feel afraid at all, just concerned that the touring pilgrims will get to see all the sites in the City of David tomorrow that I have come to love. I'm hoping to walk through Hezekiah's tunnel tomorrow morning. I'll let you know tomorrow if the security was such that we were able to do so.