Some have asked how this week’s news about Osama bin Laden has impacted life in Israel. It has been front-page news, but there is so much happening here that the event doesn’t have the same impact that I’m sure it’s having in the U.S.
The Caspari team has kept me busy this week doing office-type tasks. Today, I entered data base information all day as they’re cataloging back issues of magazines and journals in the library. The work reminds me of my old Trinity Bookstore days, but without the endless conversation. The Caspari site is, after all, a serious academic library. A couple of visiting scholars used the library this morning. Most of the other Caspari staffers were involved in leading a seminar about the Messianic movement with a group visiting the city.
Last night, I was going to go to a prayer meeting, but decided at the last moment to stay here and relax. It was a good thing, because the power went out in this cavernous old stone church building. I wouldn’t have been able to get back in to the building until the power came on because all of the outside gates are electrified. The man heading the CMA ministry base here was away, and his wife was on the phone with him trying to trouble-shoot the electrical problem. I grabbed my tiny booklight (it was the only flashlight we could find at first) and followed her around as she tried resetting the circuit breakers in five or six different locations in the building, with zero success. Turns out the power was out because of a nearby auto accident.
I am still pondering the words I heard about this city earlier this week. “It is impossible to live in this place and not believe in anything.” There is no where else on the face of this earth where there are so many people so deeply committed to fully living out so many different types of religious practice, all living as pilgrims cheek-to-jowl in an impossibly tiny area.
They can’t all be right.
So today my prayer is that all us pilgrims will find our way home – each fearful, hungry, hopeful person. And that includes you and me:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’” (Rev. 21:1-4)
Finally, I haven’t done a lot of sightseeing yet – first, because I am an American woman alone here, and second, because I know that Bill will be here this weekend and we’ll get an opportunity to do so together.
In the meantime, here’s a couple of pix showing you where I’ve been working and staying this week:
|This is the CMA building, which has 4 congregations meeting here during each weekend, and several guest rooms. Caspari rents space here.|
|This is Heidi, a Caspari volunteer from Norway. I’ve been working with her this week.|
|Here’s part of the library.|