A Unique City in All the World

Photo I took from the window of my hotel overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem.
Photo I took from the window of my hotel overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem.

Regarding Jerusalem it will be said,
    “Everyone enjoys the rights of citizenship there.”
    And the Most High will personally bless this city.
Psalm 87:5 (NLT)

Jerusalem is one of the most fascinating places on earth. It was true when the descendants of Korah penned the lyrics of today’s Psalm, and it is still true today. The Old City which lies at the heart of modern Jerusalem is sectioned into four “quarters.” There is a Jewish quarter, a Muslim quarter, a Christian quarter and an Armenian quarter. Within the old city is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which the traditional site believed to be the empty tomb of Jesus. The Church is controlled by different groups  including Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox who share responsibility for it.

When I visited Jerusalem ten years ago the famous Dome of the Rock was closed to tourists by the Muslim authorities who control it. Me and my fellow travelers wanted to see if we could get in to see it. For that, we had to talk to the Muslim authorities in a building just outside the entrance. Before we could talk to the Muslim authorities we had to get permission of the Israeli security officers outside. One of the Israeli security officers, as it turned out, was one of the few Christians who served in that position. As it turned out, we were not given permission to enter the Dome of the Rock, but we were escorted to the roof of the building and permitted to look out over the grounds for a few short (and admittedly tense) minutes.

Different nationalities, different cultures, and different faiths all claim Jerusalem home. It is just as the descendants of Korah pointed out almost 2500 years ago. It is a unique city in all the world and the setting  of many of the most climactic events in God’s story.

This morning, I am reminiscent of so many good memories. As I wrote this post I was reminded of Psalm 122:6: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. And, so I shall.

 

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