Home » Dormition Abbey {Visiting the Holy Land}

Dormition Abbey {Visiting the Holy Land}

My taxi driver told me I really needed to see this church. I wasn’t disappointed.  Walking up the flight of stairs from where he parked, I turned to the left toward the wide cobbled walk way. All around me were other tour groups from all over the world. In the half dozen I saw, I have no doubt the majority of the continents were represented.


The beauty of the church overwhelmed me as usual. My focus shifted as I realized we all spoke different languages. Dressed differently. Came from world cultures we don’t know, and yet, we all had one thing in common:  We came.

Because we love Jesus.

Not wanting to invade their experience and respecting it, I moved to the side to let them pass by. In those moments many smiles came my way. Deep smiles acknowledging each other’s purpose in sharing this space in this time in this place. We love God. Sometimes you just know. Sometimes you don’t need words. Sometimes it’s ok if that’s all we share.

Several of the groups took time to assemble and share a message. Sometimes they sang songs in words unknown to me.

As I came out the exit, one of the guides asked me in English if I had gone downstairs to the place where Mary lived after the resurrection until she died.

I had not, so I went back around and down the stairs. The form of Mary lay on display in the center of the room. Mosaics were everywhere. Candles were lit.

When I came back outside, the guide was still waiting for his group to come out. He asked me where I was from. I replied and asked him where he was from. “Sri Lanka. I am their tour guide and this is my 67th trip to Israel in four years. These are my people. I only came on this trip to be with them.”

“I am in awe of you,” I replied. “I can’t imagine how much you have learned in all the time you have spent here”.

We chatted a few more minutes, and I retraced my steps back toward the parking lot.

I took one small left turn and saw the Zion gate before me. I took a few pictures and talked to a few others standing there. Turning, I went back down the stairs to the parking lot, passing another group from yet another continent.

The song I grew up singing about Zion’s gates came back into my mind as the enormity of our God filled my heart with gratitude.

Wow. How sweet to be in this place in this time.

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