Ecclesia with Breaking Bread Journeys: Jerusalem, Holocaust Museum, Gush Etzion Winery, Garden Tomb

Wow what a week! We wrapped up our last day with another full itinerary that took us through a wide range of emotions.

We started with a morning visit to St. Anne’s Church and the ruins of the Pools of Bethesda, entering into the Old City through the Lion’s Gate…

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The gardens at St. Anne’s Church were quite spectacular…

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Our group sang to enjoy the famous acoustics of the church, which many choirs make pilgrimage to from all over the world just to perform there.

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The sun rising over the top of the church produced a lens flare the likes of which I’ve never quite seen before…

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We then walked over to the Garden of Gethsemane and The Church of All Nations. Along the way we met this kind man…

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Entering in to the garden where Jesus prayed the night before his crucifixion…

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The garden is home to olive trees believed to be 2,000 years old…

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Pastor Chris shared with us from Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 26 which is the account of Jesus’ time in the garden where we stood…

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Inside the neighboring Church of All Nations, which contains beautiful depictions of Jesus praying in the garden…

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Next we visited the Holocaust Museum… my second visit, a very sobering reminder of one of history’s deepest wounds…

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After that we definitely needed something lighter to lift our hearts… So we visited Gush Etzion Winery just south of Jerusalem, and were treated to an enlightening tour of the winery, wine tastings and a very delicious meal…

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Pastor Chris was invited to sign a cork and drop it into their collection. Here he is with the founder and owner of the winery…

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As if that were not a full enough day, we then made our way to the Garden Tomb, which has the most archaeological and historical evidence for being the actual place of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection…

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The society that preserves the site does a wonderful job of maintaining a serene space with beautiful gardens…

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The tomb…

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We were honored to meet a Muslim man who was visiting the tomb because he said that his faith honors Jesus as a prophet and he wants to know more about him…

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After that we attended a traditional Shabbat meal in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. We ate on a rooftop overlooking the Old City and Mount of Olives. Our hosts were most gracious and welcoming. We were not allowed to take photos but the images will be forever etched in my mind as one of the most breathtaking experiences of my lifetime.

Some of our group left very early the next morning, but these were the last of the group I said goodbye to, along with our amazing tour guide Shafik and bus driver Mahmoud…

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And that was the end of the tour of a lifetime… Hope you enjoyed following along! Next up… Nepal and India.

2 thoughts on “Ecclesia with Breaking Bread Journeys: Jerusalem, Holocaust Museum, Gush Etzion Winery, Garden Tomb

  1. Hey, Kirby 🙂 I just finished all the posts of your trip to Israel and just had to leave you a little message to let you know how much your beautiful, beautiful photos touched me! What an incredible experience for all of you! Your photos are truly beyond description. You conveyed the feel and essence, the history and uniqueness of every site you visited. Many years ago when I was in college, I had the amazing opportunity to study in Israel for 6 months. As you can imagine, it left a deep impression on me that will remain with me all my life! I wish I had been a photographer back in those days – my photos were awful! Your photos captured the Holy Land so perfectly, it brought back the most amazing memories for me. You truly are a master photographer, Kirby – and an all around amazing guy! 🙂

    Like

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