Monday, 4 March 2013

Prayers and Praise

We have had a day of worship and prayer, beginning at the Anglican Cathedral with a Eucharist, mainly in Arabic. It takes some getting used to speaking the English equivalent of the liturgy whilst others are praying in another language with different line and paragraph lengths. Coffee outside in the garden before going to another place of prayer the Western Wall. The maleness of the society first depicted at the cathedral with an all male altar party and a woman deacon handing out the books, and came home further at the wall with many fewer men praying than women, but the women section less than a third of the size of the male one. Women literally had to jostle to get to the place of prayer and leave their petitions with God and in the wall itself. After another delicious lunch we made for the main Jerusalem Jewish Hospital to see the 12 stained glass windows by Mark Chegal in the hospital synagogue. The windows were stunning and depicted the 12 sons of Jacob (the 12 tribes of Israel) each was stunning in its own way and the viewing helped by the audio presentation which talked about the symbolism of each painting and tribe from its colour, to the depictions on the glass. Finally we climbed the hill to Ein Karem. The Church on the hill marking the visit of Mary to Elizabeth. The singing in the chapel reflected the praise on Elizabeth and Mary's lips as they rejoiced together in what God had done. After a male start to the day this place was a celebration of women, and as we worshipped paintings of all the key women in the Bible looked down upon us. Including Esther, Deborah, Miriam, and Rachel. Downstairs their is a great picture of Mary and Elizabeth greeting one another, with other women in it preparing the hospitality. With the Magnificat on our lips we climbed down to the coaches and back to the hotel.

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