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Day 6 From the Holy Land with Pastor Nanette Christofferson

January 9, 2023

The Temple Mount was where our tour began as we left our hotel early to be sure of beating traffic to keep our schedule for the day. In order to get to the Temple Mount we had to leave Bethlehem and allow time at the checkpoint between Bethlehem and the Old City so that we could get to the Old City as planned. Fortunately, today there weren't any problems. The Temple Mount is also the site of the Muslim Mosque and the site of the Dome of the Rock. The Rock according to Judaism is the rock that Adam was formed on, also the mountain in which Abraham took Isaac to offer him as a sacrifice. Perhaps even more importantly to Judaism is that the Temple was built there. For the Muslims this place is sacred because it is believed that Mohammed ascended to heaven. (The picture you see is from a postcard of the rock inside the Mosque.)

Rock inside Temple Mount

We also stopped by Dar Al-Kalima University where we learned from Rev. Prof. Mitri Raheb. He shared with us the work the school has done for the young people of Palestine in the area of Art, Music, Gender Equality and Culture. This was a very interesting conversation one that I look forward to sharing with you when I get back. (See picture)

Dar Al-Kalima University

We continued on to the Church of the Nativity. Where we heard readings from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. In both Gospels we learn that Jesus was born at a time when Joseph and Mary needed to go to Bethlehem for a census that Caesar Augustus sent out. If we look to the two gospels of Matthew and Luke we do not see that a cave is mentioned. In some tour notes from Rev. Lowell Almen he writes this: “Justin Martyr, (ACE 100-165) wrote that Jesus was born in a cave. That might make sense because many houses of the time were built in front of a cave, with the cave being used as a stable. Thus, the reference to a manger (Luke 2:7) may be accurate.” Our tour guide also informed us that people have been living in caves in this area for thousands of years and that his grandfather was born in a cave. The Church of the Nativity is built above the cave and we were able to go down and see the cave in which Jesus is believed to be born. (See picture)

Inside Cave where Jesus was Born

Tomorrow will be our last day in Bethlehem and Jerusalem and then we will leave for


Holding Love of Christ in prayer as we travel.


Pastor Nanette and Mark

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