I Didn’t Find God, But I Found An Excellent Holiday Destination
First off, before I say ANYTHING about my trip to Jerusalem I have to pass on a message. *ahem* ‘American Christians, you are doing it all wrong. Please educate yourself and stop behaving like idiots in public. Thanks.’
That was from Jesus.
I was asked to pass that on yesterday when, for the second time in a couple days, I was standing directly in front of where he had been crucified. There was a group of about 20 American Christian tourists on their knees praying in front of the shrine. All of the other Christians from countries around the world were not behaving so crassly. One guy from the American group was face-down on the floor, arms stretched out to his side in a kind of ‘crucified’ position. About 3 feet away from him were three Orthodox monks. One of the monks nudged the monk next to him, nodded towards the loser on the floor and kind of rolled his eyes. The third monk looked at the idiot American Christian lying on the floor and just kind of shook his head and sighed. The first monk went over, tapped the guy on the shoulder and made a gesture that said ‘Come on, get up, you look like a total idiot. Have some self-respect, for Christ’s sake. Literally.’ Then I heard this voice in my head… and, well, that was the message I received. I had vaguely heard the same message a couple times before that when I’d see these American Middle Aged men wearing big monk-like robes over their bermuda shorts and golf shirts. The white Reeboks rounded off the outfit nicely.
Anyway, Jerusalem. Go. Go as soon as you can. Seriously. Come July it’s all going to kick off again. Right now, however, everything is perfectly fine and safe and wonderful. Europeans, you can go very easily for a long weekend. Really. Go.
We arrived early Monday morning, got to our hotel, slept for a couple hours and then headed to the Old town.
After wandering the labyrinthine market streets, we stumbled upon the Wailing Wall. We went down for a wail (you’ll have to wait for the video). This is where Adam was created and the only bit left of the original Temples. (click on the pics for a bigger version)
Just over the Wailing Wall is the Dome of the Rock which was built on the ruins of the first and second Temples. Mohammed rose up to heaven from here. We weren’t allowed in because every time we got here it happened to be prayer time.
About a 5 minute walk from the Dome of the Rock/Temple on the Mount is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which houses the last 5 Stations of the Cross. Inside here is where Jesus was resurrected from. Again wait for the video.
Back in the Old Town we found a fantastic rooftop restaurant, Papa Andrea’s, which we ate at every night. We’d get there just before sun down and wait for all the calls to prayer from the mosques. Is there another restaurant in the world where you can look one way and see the place where Mohammed rose to Heaven, which is built on the place where God created Man and behind that is the Mount of Olives where Jesus ate his last supper in the Garden of Gethsemane….
And that was just the first day…
So much more to say about it, but I’ll save it till later.