Pray…and Work…for the Peace of Jerusalem…2

What an amazing Palm Sunday in Jerusalem! We blessed the palms in the garden of St. George’s Cathedral and processed into a packed church to (what else?) “Glory, Laud and Honor” — sung equally in English and Arabic. The congregation was made up of people from here, London, Mississippi, Ghana, and many other places around the world!. I guess every Sunday  here is like Pentecost — (Parthians, Medes, Elamites, residents of Mesopotamia…etc.)
The liturgy was almost equally divided between Arabic and English (even the Presiding Bishop’s fine sermon which was translated on the spot by the interim Dean of St. George’s). 
After lunch we joined a procession of perhaps 8-10,000 people winding their way down from the Mount of Olives through the Garden of Gethsemane toward the gates of the Old City. Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Protestants of all kinds. Hymns and chants and banners and crosses — general pandamonium. Maybe like the first Palm Sunday! 
I thought it was very cool for our Moslem sisters and brothers, standing on every balcony and every street corner, to see (as they obviously do on several occasions each year) Christians actually marching together and witnessing publicly to our faith in ways that they do so much more regularly.  They respect us most when we are clear about what we believe and why we believe it.
Later, we met with a new community organizing group made up of Israeli citizens — Jews and Arabs — who are working on the very practical issues of “life in Jerusalem.” They do community organizing and education in an attempt to prepare actual residents here for the reality of what must come in the future — a  two state solution and therefore a “two Jerusalem” future in which both peoples can live together in dignity and respect.
Truly, a day to “pray and work for the peace of Jerusalem!   

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