Jerusalem, the shining city on the hill. We know you in antiquity, through song and scripture. We know you in our imaginations and our hearts. We know you in our contemplation, our prayers, and our anticipation. But, do we? In this new publication from the Holy Land Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF), edited by Prof. Saliba Sarsar and published by Holy Land Books. We are offered a collection of 23 deeply personal and spiritual revelations. These revelations are recollections, vignettes and even confessions. Jerusalem is ancient. It is, in many senses, the center of the universe. Jerusalem is where Jesus, the son of God, actually walked, taught, healed, warned, inspired, forgave, and submitted to his own sacrifice. It is the place where he suffered and was buried. It is also the place where he conquered death, according to God’s plan. And, thus, it is a unique place where God and humankind are inexorably bound in eternity. There is only one Jerusalem, the city and the essence of God’s collected people for all time.
The revealers in this anthology include people who claim Jerusalem as their mortal birthplace and neighborhood. They are people who recall this Holy city from their childhood and/or know it as adults who work there, return there and invite others to come there. Jerusalem beckons all Christians, but also many others, because it is both universal and eternal. It was founded to be a place of peace, but has weathered perturbations over three millennia to persist. And, while Jerusalem persists in essential constancy and promise, it yaws in contemporary suffering and yearns to be that eternally shining city for all humankind that has been promised.
The authors of the chapters in this book share very personal and psychological views of what Jerusalem means to them. Taken collectively, they comprise a complex mosaic that does justice to the complex mosaic that Jerusalem is in history and eternity. This book has the ability to transport people back to places that are indelibly etched in their consciences or are deeply embedded in their unconsciousness. We all have embarked on our journey from Jerusalem and now are challenged to find our return.
Return to Jerusalem. Make a commitment to a personal visit to the Holy Land, including Jerusalem, or a return visit if you have been blessed to visit there before. Prepare yourself for this encounter with the Holy Places and the Living Stones, today’s Holy Land Christians, descendants of Jesus’ contemporaries. This book is an essential part of planning for your journey to Jerusalem, whether that be next week, next year or sometime. Jerusalem waits for you as it waited for the Christ.
Dr. Stephen Corbin
Living Faith Lutheran Church
Rockville, Maryland USA
Past Board Member