Archive for September 15th, 2010

The Western Wall

Western Wall

This morning I logged onto one of my bookmarked favorite sites: Live Western Wall Camera at Aish.com. It reminded me my visits to Jerusalem included trips to the Temple Mount. Each time is memorable and unique. The first time is always the most memorable and I talk about it in my book. It included some confusion about being in the Dome of the Rock when my friend, Jan Buntrock, and I were actually in the Al Aksa Mosque, so much for informed American tourists. Perhaps curiosity drew me the first time. The second time I walked over to the Western Wall from the Cardo a year later, surprised I easily remembered the way. It was different this time. I felt a need and an urgency to pray in that place in particular. What I had to say to God I wanted to say at the Wall.

On that day my greatest desire was to stand in front of the Western Wall to pray and to place notes in the Wall for my friends. Just standing before the Wall, feeling the presence of the Lord, and meditating on His grace gave glorious peace that day. I felt like I was home. I placed prayers in the Wall for friends and relatives who have no idea today their names are wedged in cracks in a Holy Wall half way around the world.

Why make a special trip to the Wall of the Temple Mount? “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing” (Matthew 23:37). Jesus loved Jerusalem. He longed to gather its inhabitants together under His wings of love and protection. God chose Jerusalem as the holy city in which He would reside in the Temple on the Temple Mount. Believers were expected to come here at least three times a year to celebrate feasts of the Lord. God wanted the people to join Him here. When I’m in Jerusalem I feel I am in His hometown. When I’m at the Wall or on the Temple Mount I feel like I’m at His front door. My prayers constitute my sacrifice as I lay my soul before Him. Because of the holiness of those moments, I like to use my prayer book so I can pray prayers of praise in Hebrew. Over the years I have prayed many different places and sometimes in desperate situations, but my worship times at the Wall are precious and deeply moving times with God.

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