Saturday, March 05, 2011

Communion in Jerusalem

By Belinda

Tomorrow we will be celebrating communion at our little country church, and I will be thinking back to a week ago on Friday, when, led by our pastors, we celebrated communion in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem.

The garden is one of the possible sites of the empty tomb and the evidence for this being the site is compelling. Don Weglo, a retired veteran broadcaster with Kiss FM Vernon BC, Canada, was our guide.

He is in Jersualem, volunteering with his wife, for 3 months at the Garden Tomb. I thought how wonderful that would be! You can find out more about the Garden Tomb at the website :www.gardentomb.org

Don pointed out what looks like a skull in the rock face Golgotha—Skull Hill . Although the crucifixion is usually depicted on top of a hill, the Bible just says that it was at a place called Skull Hill. Don told us that it would most likely have been at the base of the hill, which was at a crossroads, where executions were done to make an example of the criminals to passers by.


This is my photograph of the image of a skull in the rock face.
Next, we lined up for our turn to go inside the tomb.

Don told us to be sure to turn around and see the sign on the inside: HE IS NOT HERE FOR HE IS RISEN.







 This could really be the place that the body of Jesus had lain and yet there was not really time to process that because others were waiting outside to file through.


We found the spot in the garden that had been reserved just for us. Around us other groups of believers were singing and worshipping in many languages but they faded into the background as our pastor laid out the elements for our communion service and Pastor Wayne read the familiar passage from scripture, where Jesus broke the bread at the last supper and said that it was his body, broken for us. 


As we listened to the recording made by our worship team at church Paul and Elwood served us communion; the juice in little olive wood cups that pastor bought at the garden and which we all kept.

The air grew chilly as the sun went down, but surrounded by songs of worship and the sense of holiness and peace in that place, our hearts were bound together in the warmth of God's love.



 1-4 After the Sabbath, as the first light of the new week dawned, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to keep vigil at the tomb. Suddenly the earth reeled and rocked under their feet as God's angel came down from heaven, came right up to where they were standing. He rolled back the stone and then sat on it. Shafts of lightning blazed from him. His garments shimmered snow-white. The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn't move.
 5-6The angel spoke to the women: "There is nothing to fear here. I know you're looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.
 7"Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, 'He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.' That's the message." (Matthew 28:1-7, The Message)

4 comments:

Laura J. Davis said...

Awesome post Belinda! Thank you for sharing.

Susan said...

It was a singular experience taking communion this morning and thinking about all of you having been "there" just last week. Wow...

Angcat said...

Hi Belinda,
Pastor Wayne shared the same stories and photos this morning as we had communion together. What a blessed experience you've all had.

On another note...
Yummmy pie! Only sounds of chewing and 'mmmmm this is good' all around the table.

:-)

Belinda said...

Dear Laura, Susan and Ang, thank you for sharing the glow we band of returning pilgrims brought back with us.

And Ang--I'm so glad the pie was so much enjoyed. It had lots and lots of love liberally sprinkled over it!