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Monday, 2 April 2012

Down the Mount

So. Listening to the reading yesterday about Jesus sending his disciples ahead of him to get the donkey from a village called Bethphage on the Mount of Olives – I wondered where Bethphage was. Having just been on the Mount of Olives – I didn’t see any town or village. So my conclusion is that it must have been on the northern slope of the Mount, as we were bussed to the top and walked down the southern slope.

Wherever it was, having started my descent on paper and in my memory last week, I will continue today on past that Jewish cemetery with its very distinctive tombs. Below the Mount and across a narrow ravine called the Kidron Valley gleamed the golden Dome of the Rock – situated over the spot where the Temple would have stood in Jesus’ day. Same spot where Abraham was ready to sacrifice Isaac. Mount Zion, if I have my Mount names correct.

Jesus would have had a wonderful panoramic view of Jerusalem as his donkey stumbled its way down the fairly steep slopes of the Mt of Olives, treading down palm branches and cloaks. How strange it must have been for him to hear the shouts of welcome and praise, while knowing in his heart how it would all turn out.
It’s amazing that he didn’t feel bitter or cynical of the human condition. That he managed to retain perfection and resist temptation. That his attitude was one of love and compassion right until the bitter end.

What a Saviour. How can folks not respond to his hugely generous and unconditional love? I guess a lot of the deafness and blindness is down to the failure of people like me to allow His Spirit to live it out completely through me. People hear my words but listen to my actions, which may betray disappointment, judgmental attitudes and critical words.

I’m sorry.

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