I wonder if anyone from Little Disciples,Explorers,Children’s Church or Sunday School would like to ask Bishop Chris a question about the
Holy Land or about our pilgrimage?
Today I asked him what had been the highlights of the pilgrimage so far.He mentioned two places that he had never visited before.
The first was a synagogue church in Nazareth which had been built on the site of the synagogue which was there when Jesus was growing up.It reminded him that Jesus came to bring good news for all just as the Old Testament prophets had said would happen.
The second was seeing the wilderness road from Jericho to Jerusalem with the deep shady valley,rocky dusty environment and danger ever present.That was where we recited together Psalm 23 with the words ‘ Though I walk through the valley of deepest darkness I will fear no evil for
Thou art with me’. ………….
I haven’t yet managed to upload the photograph of this place,which I mentioned yesterday. Coming shortly when technology cooperates!
AND NOW FOR TODAY
Bethlehem! It’s a distance of 5 miles or so.The place where the gospels tell us that Jesus was born.The place where shepherds and wise men came to visit Mary’s newborn son.
Getting there meant going through a military checkpoint.It was very simple for us to pass through and return again but for Palestinians living in Bethlehem it is a different matter entirely.Coming to Jerusalem from Bethlehem is a very difficult procedure for them.It involves applying to Israeli security for a permit often with little hope of success.Thousands queue each day to pass through the checkpoints.The checkpoints are linked by the security wall -the most striking symbol of the occupation of the West Bank. In many places it is 8 metres high and made out of concrete. Visiting Jerusalem is a rare exception for many Palestinian Christians and Muslims who live in the occupied territories.
We pray for the day when walls will no longer divide , and for peace and reconciliation for all who live here.