Saturday, May 19, 2007

Oh baby. A beacon on the hillside. I love this place here, it still seems surreal that I am here, I don't know if it will ever fully hit me. I went to the Garden Tomb. I liked it. I was overcome with the spirit that is still resonating there after 2,000 years. I loved what one of the tourguides said that I was kind of eavesdropping on, he said "it is important to remember that we do not worship the tomb, but we worship he who rose from the tomb" I think he may have been referring to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as it is worshipped in a sense as a place. I was kind of surprised to see that it was right there in the city, yet when you entered the garden it suddenly felt as though you were out there in the middle of nowhere, just beauty flowers, trees, the birds. I took some time to read in the four gospels the accounts of the Garden Tomb and the Savior rising from the dead. I tried to visualize how it might have been and the excitement the apostles must have felt when they learned that the Savior had risen. Or the look on Mary's face when she turned and saw the Savior.

It has been an awesome week full of classes with ridiculously hard tests, I will opt not to talk about. We went on a couple of awesome field trips to Judea, to the spot where David killed Goliath, to some amazing caves, spelunking. Thanks to Jo and Aja I was able to navigate quite nicely with the headlamp that they gave me. I think the picture can do the explaining. So click onto the link and you'll see two new albums of some pretty great pictures. They do such a good job here scheduling and packing every possible thing in. We are constantly on the run, but it is awesome. Tomorrow morning we are going to the Galilee for an overnight trip. We have been and will study the Old Testament for the next couple of weeks and then we will move onto the New Testament. This trip to the Galilee will focus on the Old Testament, then in a couple weeks we will go back for about a week for New Testament stuff.

Here is Golgotha. I am really enjoying the Old Testament, but I am so excited to get on to the New Testament. Sometimes it is a little hard for me to get the OT stuff, the New Testament is more up my alley.

This is inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We went from the Garden Tomb to there today. Quite a contrast. The Holy Sepulchre is built right where many believe Christ was killed and then risen. The feelings at the two places were quite different. The Garden was so much more peaceful and vibrant, whereas the Sepulchre was very dim and just didn't have the same feeling of wonder. I really like it, it is a beauty building, but it conveys the atonement in a much different way. Well, it is late and we are leaving at the crack of dawn, but check out the other pictures you will like them. Let me know if you have any questions about any of them. Try the slideshow feature. Love to you all from Jerusalem!

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