Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sisters of Sion

Sisters of Sion

Today our journey through the city began at the Sisters of Sion located in the Muslim quarter of the Old City. The Ecce Homo Convent throughout the years has had many and varied purposes. Right from the early foundation it was always a place for pilgrims to stay while in Jerusalem.It also was a school with many students coming from neighboring countries and was well known throughout the region for its academic excellence. With the closure of the school in 1948, the sisters then felt that an ulpan would be of great benefit to both Arabs and Israelis in that this provided each group time to meet the other and have the opportunity to learn their language. This continued for 10 years and then the program was taken over by Hebrew University.

Church of Condemnation

" While Pilate was sitting on the judge's seat, his wife sent him this message: 'Don't have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.' But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.'Which of the two do you want me to release to you?' asked the governor. 'Barabbas,' they answered. 'What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?' Pilate asked. They all answered, 'Crucify him!' 'Why? What crime has he committed?' asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, 'Crucify him!'When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd.'I am innocent of this man's blood,' he said. 'It is your responsibility!' All the people answered, 'Let his blood be on us and on our children!'Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified."

MATTHEW 27:19-26

This is believed to be the spot where the above passage took place. Where Jesus Christ was condemned to cruxifiction by Pilate and took up the cross.Inside the Church of Flagellation, which is right next door to the Church of Condemnation. According to tradition the church enshrines the spot where Christ was flogged by Roman soldiers before his journey down the Via Dolorosa to Calvary. The original building was built in 1839 over the remains of a medieval crusader shrine.

its fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A!
Every Sunday one of the service couples, the Squires, take 6 students over to the YMCA building to play the giant bells from the bell tower. I went yesterday and it ruled- the only thing that woulda made it better is if knew how to read music. No one told me playing the bells is like playing the piano! Who knew? So the girls I went with all played songs for the 60,000 people of west Jerusalem and Brother Squires helped me with my song. He's so great- he and his wife are so musically talented, they lead the choir here at the center. They're also in charge of the weekly concerts put on at the center. The best talent from around the area comes for a performance for the local people, and we students get the extra standby tickets. Bro Squires himself is an amazing organist and trained under famous people.He told us that the two music directors only let students play the practice bells. He said, " I let everyone play the real ones- who cares! " Lesson learned.

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