Focusing on the Holy

What is Holy?

Seems like a good question for Holy Week in the Holy Lands…

Sure there are stories and realities of chaos, disagreement and fundamentalism around business, politics and religion. All you have to do is read a newspaper anywhere in the world to know that. Stories abound that emanate anything but holy.

But to so many, this is the Holy City; Holy City to Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. Different stories and not so different stories run through the beliefs and traditions of these three Abrahamic faiths.

I’ve been in this holy place for six days and despite what could feel rather un-Holy, I appreciate its holiness. There are things you could see and feel anywhere…

A cute kid leading a Palm Sunday procession

Running into a friend – Pastor Ladd

But a lot you can’t. You come to the Holy Lands as a Pilgrim to join in and be part of something larger and longer than yourself. To join in something that through the millennium has been destroyed, rebuilt, forgotten and refortified; to take a step in faith among the faithful and not so faithful, to just be and to walk where literally millions (if not billions) of fellow believers have walked before.

Palm Sunday – walking from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem

Palm Sunday – walking through the Lion’s gate into the Old City (Jerusalem)

This is the land where my faith, Christianity, as well as others were born. I can’t help but to think of this land somewhat like a parent or maybe better like an aunt or uncle to our faith, it (or they) might be eccentric and hard to understand but it is vital to the fact that we exist, it is full of stories and love and deserving of our attention and respect. Holy Lands – you have two months of my undivided attention.

While I am here I may come up with many unholy thoughts and words … so for now, this Holy Week, I want to focus on what makes this place particular, a testament, a pilgrimage destination and hence, Holy.

Looking up inside the church of The Holy Sepulchre.

Peeking in at the women’s side of the Western (wailing) wall.

A view of the Dome of the Rock.

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7 thoughts on “Focusing on the Holy

  1. Many Easter Blessings to you Kirsten as you discover what God has for you in the Holy Land. Thinking of you with prayer. –Cheryl

  2. Thank you for sharing the Holy City with us this Holy Week, Kirsten! Unbelievable that you ran into Pastor Ladd! He and family were just here for Leland & Alishia’s wedding. The anticipation of the Resurrection must be intense being right there. God is with us.

  3. God Bless your Easter in the Holy Lands. Randy, Claire and I were there in 2000 and found it to be inspirational. We were intrigued by the Holy Rock Cafe. I enjoyed seeing the picture in your blog. In two months, I’m sure you will have a greater insight than we ever would. Take care my friend.

  4. Blessings to you Kirsten! Your time with the people in that Holy Land will be a great inspiration! We are preparing to welcome Rev Mitri Raheb here in early May. Can’t wait to hear your stories!

  5. This is so cool! Is that Dr. Strickert in the picture? It looks like him! He was one of my profs in college, now a pastor in Jerusalem. If you see him again, send him greetings from me and Beau!

    • Yes Lydia, that is Dr Strickert and his wife Gloria (the other robed person) in the picture. I see them often, I will pass along your greetings!

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