Yahoo published a piece this morning about a riot that broke out in a Jerusalem church - the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, in fact. (The BBC, AP and well, I guess just about every major news outlet carried the sad tale.) Seems that Armenian and Greek Orthodox monks got into a tussle. And what was the fuss all about? Which group "owns the rights" to the ancient structure built on what is believed to be the ancient site of Jesus' burial.
My friend Maceo alerted me to the event. An observant Jew, Maceo had this to say:
Unbelievable! To make it all even more unbelievable, it's not EVEN the site of his death, burial and resurrection. HELLO!He's right, sadly. It does go on. Christians fight over the dumbest stuff. It is no mistake, I think, that the early Christians went out of their way to not identify the places in Jesus' life where the most significant events occurred. Apparently it didn't matter enough to the early church to document where Jesus died, or where his tomb was located. Clearly they knew the locations of these events. Why no atlas appended to the New Testament, then? Because it didn't matter. It still does not.
Golgotha, the place that looks JUST like a giant skull is just outside of Damascus Gate and a few blocks away from the old walled city of Jerusalem.
AND the GARDEN TOMB is just beneath the hill that stretches over Golgotha. Practically beside it, and it is CLEARLY marked with Crusader's markings
denoting its validity as the REAL tomb of Jesus.
I'm sure the "cross" they are fighting over is nothing more than
a byzantine fake at best.
These monks are fighting over a whole lot of nothing.
And so it goes on. (SIGH)
I would love to go to the Holy Lands and walk where Jesus walked. I can only imagine how much it would inform my faith and inspire my preaching. Nevertheless, geography is nothing without theophany. And, Frankly Speaking, I can experience God wherever I go.
Sadly, it appears that some who trod the same streets where Jesus once taught "love thy neighbor," fail to experience Christ's presence in spite of their holy surroundings.