Joy and Community

These two words describe our first week together

After a few days of rest on my arrival in Jerusalem, we finally began this adventure of living together in community. We started by spending some time Identifying and assimilating our differences as a group: cultural, generational and those of personality. But at the same time, we thanked God for each of these contrasts for they enrich our community.

Then we began to explore the land. Our first excursion was to the house of Marta, Maria and Lázaro in Bethany, where we somehow identified with the feeling of ‘home’ that Jesus must have felt, each time he rested there during his travel

A very deep moment was when we were able to enter the tomb of Lazarus. There we had the space to share the Word of God, pray and in silence reflect together. Somehow we felt very close to that man, Jesus’ friend, whom he loved, and who left the grave for a new life.

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”…
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

We thank God for this space and time of deep inner contemplation.

Then we welcomed the beginning of Advent, using our creativity to make our Christmas crib. We made this through the contribution of each one, while enjoying a festive atmosphere of laughter, jokes and joy.

Finally, to close the week, we took advantage of our Sunday together to visit Torre de David, a museum with impressive exhibitions of the history of the city. Walking among its ancient stone galleries we marvelled at how this small city, of only 1 square kilometre, can contain so many memories and be such a testimony to our own history of salvation.

From the highest point of the museum there is an incredible panoramic view of 360° that emphasizes every important place for us, as well as for our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters. Being there, and thinking about it, on a personal level, I reflected about how God somehow unites us all in this space. Maybe that is the main message of this whole Holy Land: UNITY

Helen NDS
Ein Karem 01.12.2018