Monday, June 15, 2015

Day 8: Upper Room, Last Supper, Pit and Peter

Today began with a short birthday run through the Old City, through Jaffa Gate to the wall, to say prayers as the early sun was rising and shedding bright warmth on this Holy City. 

Soon we were walking the narrow streets to the Upper Room.

The room itself was not very impressive, since it was built over and over again across the ages. On the other hand, when we took a moment to stop and breathe and listen, the spirit flooded our hearts and minds with power of what had occurred in this very spot: Jesus meets the disciples and women. He knows he will die soon … yet he has two more lessons to teach.

Imagine a world where we, all Christians, daily stopped to wash someone’s feet, especially someone they did not know?

And then we sang “Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and Holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living, sanctuary for you.” Indeed, Jesus puts his full trust in you to continue onward in his ministry. To bring the Good News to all people, no matter the sacrifice it requires. Jesus knew all about sacrifice, did he not!

We came across a reminder that Peter would deny him three
times. How many times have we, Christians denied Jesus in our daily lives? Denied Christ over the centuries? The answer is countless times. Walked on the very path Jesus walked to the garden - and then was paraded to prison and then finally to his death. Peter denies Christ three times outside the prison.

Am I willing to walk with Jesus? I cried to myself as I knelt to touch the stones.

Then we journeyed to where Jesus was taken, after being
arrested in the garden, tortured and humiliated - he spent the night in prison. The cells are caves under the court above. Crude and cruel. But Jesus was not placed in an ordinary cell - he was lowered through a hole in the stone into a very dark, stone pit. We read Psalm 88 - imagining his suffering for all humanity.

We then proclaimed the Good News! That Christ died for our
sins and sins of all generations. We need only turn to the Lord and we will be shown the way. God's love, we know, is unconditional and relentless thanks to the teachings, example and life and death of Jesus Christ.

A powerful way to conclude our time in the temple.

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