Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Way of Suffering

We walked the Via Dolorosa in the rain this morning. What a combination it brings of spiritual pilgrimage and the hustle and bustle of life. The Old City of Jerusalem has so many interesting sites and the air is filled with the cacaphony of buying and selling in the stalls.

In the picture the arch over the lane is the Ecce Homo Arch, perhaps the place where Pilate said, "Behold the man," and asked whether they wanted him released, or some rebel named Barabas.

You can buy fresh bread by Station 3, where Jesus falls for the first time.

The final two stations of the cross are in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It was crowded today. One reason was that the Armenians were still celebrating Christmas. They had a service going on that lasted from 10 to 12:30. We still saw the chapel over Golgotha, and parts of the nearby tomb.

One of the neat things at the church was seeing Wajeemh, the Doorkeeper of the Holy Sepulchre. His family has been the keeper of the key for generations. I met him last year, a friendly fellow. And he is there by the door every day, ready to pose for those who want a picture. What was it the psalmist said: I'd rather be a door-keeper in the house of the Lord...

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