The City before us…

A day full of emotions, crowds and friends. So many places visited today, and this outline is an indication only of the immensity of each place in spirit and history.

The Mount of Olives

We left the bus as the rain poured down and the cold wind blew. This was a different day. The view of the City of Jerusalem panned out before us, the golden dome highlighted against the dark grey sky.

Dominus Flevit

By this time we were cold and wet but undaunted, we held our service outdoors. With the church behind us we walked down the very slippery road to the gates of Jerusalem.

Garden of Gethsemane

The Garden of Gethsemene

Forever a special place, the place where Jesus found his task more difficult than ever and asked God if he had to do this. Peter, James and John could not keep awake with him. The remaining 8 disciples waited as Jesus returned to them when Judas came to betray him. From here the passion began and Jesus remained passive through all that would follow. For us as pilgrims, it was a place to be. A place to stay and to wonder.

Caiaphas’ House

The soldiers had taken Jesus to this house and to the dungeons below. Peter followed and denied Jesus three times. In the distance on this day we also heard the cock crow. But a place of sorrows.

Dormitian Abbey

Dormitian Abbey

This place spoke to me somehow. The sky by now had turned blue and the wind was freezing cold. This is the place where Mary may have died and taken to heaven by an angel. This is not in the gospels but possibly in the Gospel of St Thomas.

The Upper Room

We walked through the narrow streets and as young Israeli recruits were marching past, we looked at the Upper Room, a tiny window next to a pillar, well hidden from any crowds.

Bethesda The Healing Pools

The site where the paralysed man had waited for 38 years to be first in the pool and be healed. Jesus asked him to get up and walk and he did. We held a Healing Service by the pools, which was a powerful way for many to ask for healing.

Via Delarosa

The Via Dolorosa

We started to walk on the Via Delorosa at 3.45pm and it would be dark by 5.30pm But it was a good time as the narrow streets were not too busy and we stopped at all the stations of the cross for a reading and hymn. This was a powerful place full of sorrow and yet in the midst of this the street sellers would have sounded much the same. We stood on a corner of a tiny street at Station 5 were Simon the Cyrenee from North Africa was asked to help Jesus, a young man from Northern Africa came rushing past.

…further along

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The last 3 stations are in the church and by now it was dark. The church was busy and some of us went straight to the site of the cross and some waited at the tomb of Jesus. It is an Armenian Church and very ornate and a holy place full of pilgrims from all over the world.

These are shortened sections and when I return to UK I will write more on the Via Delorosa, there is much to tell…

Rev’d Sue Martin
With a happy heart..and tired feet