Dominus Flevit

The path that leads down the Mount of Olives gave Jesus and his fellow pilgrims a panoramic view of the Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Overshadowing all, mid-stage, was the great bulk of the Temple. Similar views of Norwich are visible as one walks down from Mousehold Heath. In the midst of the cityscape, the Anglican Cathedral.

Above Gethsamane is another olive grove. In spring the green of the grass is punctuated with the brilliant red of anemones, reminders that Jesus sweated blood on this hill! In the corner of the grove is a tear shaped church - Dominus Flevit! The Latin translates as The Lord Wept. It marks the traditional place where pilgrims to the Holy Land stopped to remember that Jesus had wept over the city and prophesied its destruction.

Destroyed and re-built it is a different Jerusalem the modern pilgrim sees today when she stops to pray. In place of the Temple are the Al Asqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. There is tension in the air, and to Jerusalem, the City of Peace, peace is yet to come! If Jesus shows us what God is like then we cannot doubt that he weeps forJerusalem still! Nor that he weeps for our city too!

Seeing clearly that the world needs a saviour, there is nothing more frustrating than finding the Gospel falls on deaf ears! It’s enough to make one weep! As a mini-pilgrimage, showing solidarity with your Lord, you might park a car on Britannia Road and walk onto the lookout point on St. James’ Hill to watch and pray for our city, the Holy Land and all the lands God counts as holy. Best of all park at the Silver Road end of Mousehold Avenue and take the footpath that leads along the top of the allotments and over the grassy hill behind Heathgate flats.

Below you are the law courts where thousands of tragedies unfold day by day. Up on the hill to the left is our prison, full to overcrowding! Spread out before you a city peopled by those whom God loves and calls to be his own. Among them servants of God live and work as salt in the stew, leaven in the lump and light in the darkness. You might complete the pilgrimage by following the roads down to the cathedral and ending with a prayer there.

© 2006 Richard Woodham


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