Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter in Jerusalem: a reflection

I know it has been long months since I have written here-my hope is that will change soon- My plan is to still to reflect on themes, stories, and thoughts of what I have seen in my travels.

For those few who read this: yes, you can remind me to be consistent about it-my hope is to post something once a month-you can all hold me to that.

Anyways, A year ago during this Easter week I was in Jerusalem on my semester abroad. I know that if you look back in this blog you may see my previous thoughts about my time there. As I think back on that week I remember a poem I wrote in reflection of my observations of the city and the significance of the week. In thinking of last year’s Easter and in preparing for this one I want to share it with those who read this:

The Holy City

Salaama to Shalom
Shessa to incense,
99 names to cross-adorned rosaries
niqab to prayer shawls,
flags of all variety.
Domes and chapel bells
mosques and calls to prayer,
market streets with winding corridors.

Gallabayas and black skirts
hats and hoods
monks and priests:
all wandering the streets.
Pilgrims in the name:
of Allah gracious and merciful
of YHWH-just, loving, and righteous
of Christ the human Word and Light.

Living out religion,
seeking the heart of it.
Reading the words of prophets,
of a messiah to come,
or already come to return.

The heart of humanities kingdom:
one and central to world faith.
Intermingled and intertwined with the
controversial and political,
opinion and demonstration,
contrast and tension.

Crosses, stars, moons
languages conjoining; intermingled
from ancient dialects of Aramaic; Semitic.

All to stand where the prophet was carried in a dream.
To wail at the site of the torn down temple of the one God.
To walk in the tortured path of Christ down the Via de la Rosa.
To see, To hear: the living proof of faith.

This is where the spiritual meets the physical:
miracles and signs and wonders,
the unseen realm:
sacred and holy
pictures of ancient glory,

and hopes for future peace.

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