The Mount of Olives
Today was our 9th day on the ground in Israel, and we started it with a short bus ride to the Mount of Olives where Marty led us in our morning devotional with a view of the old city of Jerusalem behind us. From there we walked down the street where Jesus would have made the "triumphal entry" into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and were faced again with the question of what story we wanted to be a of.
From there it was a short walk to a terraced garden where we got a quick lesson about the kinds of gardens the Bible talks about, and our responsibility to one another in caring for our/their gardens.
Mount of Olives
Separated from the Eastern Hill (the Temple Mount and the City of David) by the Kidron Valley, the Mt. of Olives has always been an important feature in Jerusalem’s landscape. From the 3rd millennium B.C. until the present, this 2900-foot hill has served as one of the main burial grounds for the city. The two-mile long ridge has three summits each of which has a tower built on it.
Then we hopped across the street to the main city and made our way to the pools at Bethesda, where they also have a Catholic Church which has world famous acoustics. (Thanks to Elle, we were able to appreciate that.)
After that, we had to keep our heads down to avoid seeing the signs to our next stop. Marty wanted us to be surprised when we got there, and almost all of us were. Everyone would have made it had it not been for some over-talkative tourists behind us, who kept asking us if this was the way.
After that was lunch, then a quick stop at the tomb where Jesus was buried. The rest of the afternoon we had free time to wander the markets and do a little shopping before leaving for Turkey.
We leave here in a few hours and I already know I'm going to miss this place. Our guide, Yehuda, has already informed us that we now have the "virus" (he could have picked a better word...), and we will all be back.
I have a feeling he is right.
Written by Jon
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