Bethlehem to Jerusalem

This morning began with a visit to the “School of Joy”, (www.schoolofjoy.org ) a School for children of primary school age with special needs. This school looks after 70 children and is supported by the Friends of the Holy Land Organisation. We greatly enjoyed hearing about it and were glad to offer our support by way of a donation as well as shopping in the gift shop.

From there we went on into Jerusalem and visited an open air large scale model of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus which hugely helped us get our bearings. From here we went on into The Shrine of the Book, the exhibition which houses and tells all about the dead sea scrolls.

After lunch locally , We made our way up to the top of the Mount of Olives by coach and began our walk down, stopping at the church of the Paternoster, a place which commemorates the site where Jesus by tradition, (i.e. this might not be the actual site) taught his disciples the Lord’s prayer. The walls are adorned with versions of the Lord’s prayer in languages from all around the world which speaks powerfully of both our diversity and unity And gives an added depth of meaning to the two words “Our Father”

Our next stop was at the church of Dominus Flevit, The place where Christ wept over the city of Jerusalem. From here we contemplated and learnt about the complex history of this city as well as pausing to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

From there we carried on down to the church built alongside the garden of Gethsemane, a very moving place of insight into the conflict within and loneliness of Jesus.

At the end of the day we found our Hotel at the end of Santa Claus Lane, somewhat oddly! Yes really, it came complete with Santa’s house. Obviously, come January, Santa takes a break in the Ho Ho Holy land.

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