Monday, December 24, 2007

Visit to the Mount of Olives

This afternoon (Saturday 8 Dec 2007), Rev Kjell Jonasson took our Australian delegation to visit the Mount of Olives, in East Jerusalem, just across from the Kidron valley, the deep ravine that Jesus knew so well.

Here we took in the awesome view of the Old City of Jerusalem, and spent some time in reflection, aware that in this place Jesus shed tears and prayed for the city and its people. Together we prayed the following prayer aloud:

Lord Jesus Christ,
Today we share your tears for the cities of the world;
Still we have not loved the things that make for peace.

We weep for the divided cities:
Where brother fights with brother,
Where anger feeds on hatred,
Where prejudice blinds the eyes of compassion,
And even religion divides,
Where children are taught to hate,
And old men relish ancient wrongs.

We weep for the cities of oppression:
Where iron law imprisons freedom,
Where thought is curbed and conscience is stifled,
Where the questioning spirit is called a traitor,
Where art and civilising truth grow barren,
And each must think in manner as his neighbour.

We weep for the cities of poverty:
Where children live, but die too soon,
Where eager hands can find no work,
Where hunger rules and aid is short,
Where mothers clutch uncomprehending young,
And where the little we could do, we fail to do.

We weep for our cities and for ourselves;
We have not learned the things that make for peace.

Lord, turn
Tears to love
And love to work.
Turn work to justice
And all that makes for peace.


1. The Australian delegation (L-R: Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, Rev Merrill Kitchen, Lyndsay Farrell, Rev Gregor Henderson, Rev Terence Corkin, Rev Rod Benson, Archbishop Frank Carroll, Dr Kevin Bray, Rev John Henderson).
2. Jerusalem looking west from the Mount of Olives.
3. A camel that happened to be resting at the lookout (actually a famous camel whose image adorns postcards and tourist guides).

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