DBB 6.19.2018: More GAFCON + Jerusalem Diary
The day began, as it always does with our gathering around the word. The liturgy was from the Church of Nigeria and we sang When I Survey the Wondrous Cross in preparation for our Bible exposition. (The choir from the Cathedral in Nairobi, Kenya has worn a different outfit each day. Kind of excited to see what they where from here on out.):
Richard Coekin, rector of Dondonald Church in Southward diocese, Church of England led the Bible study on Luke 23:26-49.
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, the retired bishop of Rochester (Church of England), gave the morning’s plenary on God’s church. Bishop Nazir-Ali did a very good job of outlining exactly what the Bible says the church is and how it lives together as the family of God. All of the talks are available online, and this one is especially helpful. If we do not understand what the church is, it will lead to great difficulty when we come to points of disagreement as we are experiencing in the Anglican Communion:
You may remember Bishop Nazir-Ali was with the Advent a few years back to deliver a series of lectures on Islam and pluralism in the West. (Sorry about the quality of photos; the screen in the background is a problem.)
Archbishop Staney Ntagali, Primate of the Anglican Church of Uganda, gave some brief remarks about the conversation his house of bishops is having about the upcoming Lambeth Conference in 2020. Lambeth is a once every ten year gathering, but was pushed to 2020 as it was clear a large number of bishops would not come if it was held in 2018. It has yet to be seen whether or not the majority of the Communion will send their bishops. They are in a very difficult spot and are in need of our prayers:
Bishop Greg Venables, Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church of South America and diocesan bishop for Argentina then took the stage. He has been a bishop for quite a while and is always a tremendous encouragement. He is a gospel man and his life demonstrates his commitment to see the good news go to the ends of the earth:
The afternoon was spent with other delegates visiting sights around Jerusalem. I opted for the City of David and Hezekiah’s tunnel.
The ‘Old City’ is not the oldest part of Jerusalem. The original city of David, and the Canaanite city before he conquered it, was to the south of the Old City. The northernmost part of David’s Jerusalem was the Temple Mount. We started there where you can see, at the Davidson Centre excavations, the main entryway to the Temple complex. This is where Jesus entered the Temple on numerous occasions:
The three arches you see are the eastern Hulda Gates. They, like other gates around Jerusalem, were sealed up.
The double gated western Hulda Gates have been covered, but you can still see the edge of the right side:
Can you see it on the left? And these steps are THE steps.
These are the foundation stones for what would have been a monumental staircase leading up to the Temple complex:
The Wailing Wall is not the only remaining part of the retaining wall of the first and second temples. The western wall extends down and can be seen here:
You can see ‘Robinson’s Arch’ jutting out from the wall.
Our group then made our way across the road to the City of David. We were mainly looking at going underground to see the tunnel system that allowed easier access to water from the city.
The Gihon Spring was Jerusalem’s main water source, but at the bottom of the valley. A tunnel system was built in order to have an efficient, and protected way to get to the spring. It was discovered by Charles Warren in the 19th Century who climbed a vertical shaft that led into the tunnels. One of the tunnels, the first one he found dates back to the Canaanite period (pre-King David):
Heading down into the bedrock of Mt. Zion.
Looking down Warren’s Shaft.
The Canaanite Pool where Solomon was likely anointed King of Israel (1 Kings 1:33-36).
This is a terrible picture of the water that is in Hezekiah’s Tunnel, but it’s dark in there:
You can read why King Hezekiah built this in 2 Kings 20:20.
After the subterranean excursion, Jeremy Graham, an assistant minister at St. John’s Church, Vancouver, Canada (J.I. Packer’s church), and I abandoned our group to set off on our own. We made our way into the Old City visiting the Wailing Wall and other sites along the way.
The store was opened by an alumnus of the University of Alabama.
Jeremy and I then hoofed it back to our hotels for dinner after a coffee at Christ Church in the Old City.
I grabbed dinner with Dominic Steele (some of you might remember Dominic as the minister who did the ‘Ideas that Changed the World’ study. We used it as a lead up to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation last year.), Jason Mandryk of Operation World (who will be speaking during the plenary tomorrow with Archbishop Mbanda), and Ashley Null.