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Ancient Paths - Austin group

March 11-23, 2022

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Day 10 - Jerusalem : Temple Mount, Hezekiah's Tunnel, Herodium, Johnny's (shopping), Yad Vashem, Church of the Holy Sepulchre

On an unseasonably cold March night in Jerusalem, a small group of Christ-followers approached the Wailing (Western) Wall for the first time. So many Jewish sisters huddled against the cold. Desperate to get “that place” on the wall believed to be closest to where the Holy of Holies, God’s very presence, once stood in this spot. Women on one side and men on the other, each goes through mikvah that we have talked about all week long. To see this mikvah stations in person is so startling. Although condensed to a ritual ceremony of just the hands, the baths, the water, and the silver pitchers were gleaming in the light. "Wash me and I will be whiter than snow" (Psalm 51).


Dru, Abby, Patty, Brittany, Sally, Sheryl and I tentatively and reverently approach the Wailing Wall. I am drawn closer and closer, alongside these Jewish women, young and old, with bowing and prayer books and urgent prayers on their lips; begging Yahweh to hear them. As I touch the wall with my hand, I look down on my feet and see hundreds of tiny pieces of paper, folded desperate pleas. Hear my prayer, O God.


Tears fill my eyes and my heart breaks for each of these women, each writer of these notes, each wail. The veil still covers their eyes, they don’t know the Messiah has come and His name is Jesus. They don’t know the dividing wall has been broken down, the veil torn in two, once and for all. They don’t know it is finished.


As we back away from the wall in reverence and respect, I look at Abby with tears in her eyes and whisper, “Praise God, we don’t need a Wailing Wall.” A well-loved verse comes to mind from Hebrews and I hear that sweet invitation: Come boldly before the throne of grace and find mercy and grace in time of need. As we stand in the cold, in the shadow of the Wailing Wall, Patty begins to quietly sing, “Great is your faithfulness to me. Great is your faithfulness to me. God of Abraham, you’re the God of covenant and faithful promises. Time and time again you have proven you’ll do just what you said.”


Father, let me never forget what I have seen here. Let me never forget Your mercy, Your grace that has torn the veil from my eyes. Wonder of wonders, You have made my heart the temple of Your spirit. Great is your faithfulness indeed.


Lori Shamblin

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