Saturday, 14 January 2012

On the Mount of Olives

The Mount of Olives is a very significant place in the story of the Holy Land.  As we walked down the side of the hill from Bethphage to Gethsemane, we stopped a couple of times.  When we first stopped, we had good views across the valley to the old city.  In particular, we could see the Golden (or Beautiful) Gate, long since out of use.  We slso realised that much of the hillside is given over to graveyards.  Indeed, there was a Jewish funeral taling place not far from where we were standing.  It is a great Jewish wish to be buried on the Mount of Olives.  We were reminded of Ezekiel's vision of the valley of dry bones.  God's living presence is everywhere, even in those places where we mark death.

Another of the main landmarks as we looked to the city was the golden dome of the Dome of the Rock.  It was also interesting to notice some of the graffiti.  As we walked down the hill, we could remember, in particular, that Palm Sunday walk, but also other occasions when Jesus and the disciples would have followed this way as they made their way to the city.

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