There were still a few things I wanted to do before I left. I hadn't had time to explore Mount Zion yet, so that was first on my agenda for the day. I visited the Room of the Last Supper, King David's Tomb, Dormition Abbey (where some believe Mary lived and "fell asleep" after Jesus' death), and Mary's Tomb (where others believe she was buried after she died).
|Room of the Last Supper|
|In the Crypt of Dormition Abbey|
|If Mary opened her eyes, this is what she would see above her head.|
|All around the crypt are chapels donated|
by different countries. This one is from Ivory Coast.
From Mount Zion I circled around the walled city back to the Mount of Olives. Despite the fact that I slept on the Mount of Olives every night while I was in Jerusalem, I really hadn't spent much time there during the daylight. I made a stop at the Garden of Gethsemane then went to the Church of the Pater Noster, which is a church built on the spot where tradition has it Jesus taught his disciples the Lord's Prayer. The walls of this church and courtyard are tiled with this prayer in 62 different languages. Next stop was the Chapel of the Ascension. This small chapel is built around the rock where Jesus ascended into heaven. I waited until a big tour group from Poland left and I had the place to myself so I could stand on the very spot and take a photo of my feet.
|Garden of Gethsemane|
|Courtyard at Church of the Pater Noster|
|Standing on the Ascension Rock|
|Chapel of the Ascension|
"As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes."
|View from Dominus Flevit Window|
|View of Jerusalem from Outside Dominus Flevit|
Visiting the Holy Land has been an extraordinary experience. It's almost incomprehensible to walk in the same places Jesus walked when he was here on earth. Having a mental picture of these locations now that I have visited them brings a whole new dimension to reading the Bible. Experiencing just a bit of the Palestinian/Israeli struggle and talking with people who deal with the challenges every day was very eye-opening. You've heard the expression, "wearing your religion on your sleeve," well I have no idea what that means, but in the Holy Land, especially in the Old City of Jerusalem, almost everyone wears their religion on their head. Within just a few paces you can see Orthodox priests in their tall hats (which I've learned are called kalimavkion), nuns in their habits, Jewish men wearing either kippah or the furry shtreimel, Jewish women wearing snoods or wigs, Palestinian men wearing turbans or kufiya (the white or red-checked) , and Islamic women wearing anything from a simple headscarf to a full burqa. I like that--I like knowing I'm surrounded by believers, even if they might believe something different than I believe. And I like delving deeper into my own beliefs. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to visit this very special spot on the globe.