Wednesday, September 2, 2009
ONE YEAR ago was the day I boarded an airplane with 20 strangers, and emerged with 80 friends. For those who may not be aware, I studied abroad in the Holy City of Jerusalem last fall semester. Well Fall has come around again, and I am left to ponder the lessons I learned in the Holy Land.
This was home for the best four months of my life. The JC itself. (standing for Jerusalem Center). It is a glorious marvel of modern architecture in an ancient city. The Jerusalem Center is a very prized building within the Church. Elder Faust (don't quote me exactly) once said, "This land has been preserved for centuries.... No millennium for this building." It tuely is home to me.
The Dome of the Rock is one of the most holiest sites in the city, and certianly the holiest for all Muslim residents and visitors. It stands as a symbol for the city known to the Arab peoples as Al-Quds.
This is the Western Wall. The holiest site in the city to the Jewish people. As we know, Christ's prophecy that Herod's temple would be destroyed, without one stone standing upon another came true, as all prophetic prophecies due. The western wall, however was not a peice of the actual temple itself, but was a retaining wall that stood around the second temple. The western portion was closest to the Holy of Holies, thus, it is a sacred spot still today.
These next pictures were some of the holiest spots for me. The one above was taken in Bethlehem. This was the location of Christ's birth. I was not expecting to feel the way I did in this place. I expected chaotic tourists and rushed visit, and thoughts like, "how does anyone know that this is the place, anyway?" I was wrong. I did not feel any of those emotions. I only felt ones of a higher nature.
This is the Garden of Gethsamane.
If you have been here close your eyes and remember how you felt while in this place. If you have not been here close your eyes and think about what Christ did for you here.
You will know why this is such a special place to me.
This is where the ressurected Lord told Peter, "Feed my lambs....Feed my sheep....Feed my sheep." This is our duty today. To feed his sheep. To take the goodnews of the Gospel to all who will listen.
Dear Jerusalem, the Holiest of all cities,
I miss you. You were always there for me when I needed you. You are alive in my memory. I will see you again someday.