Sing: This Is My Father’s World, UMH 144
The Church of the Redeemer is the newest church in the Old City of Jerusalem, but its site has a history going back to Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, in the 9th century. The plain-looking neo-Romanesque building — with a tall bell-tower dominating the ancient Church of the Holy Sepulchre nearby — is the headquarters of the Lutheran Church in the Holy Land. It is the home to congregations that worship in Arabic, German, Danish and English.
The bell-tower and its birds-eye view of The Old City was the main attraction for Josh and Chris in our early morning adventure. I knew nothing about this tower before they told me that this was where we were going. The church and the tower did not open until 10am so we spent some time in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – which was almost completely empty when we arrived.
It was much better to visit the church without the crowds. We had time to spend at each of the Stations of the Cross without feeling rushed by long lines behind us or a docent keeping time on us. This was a much more meaningful visit for each of us.
We also had time to get coffee and a coke at an outdoor café in the nearby Muristan section of the city. We found a good spot in the morning sunshine, sat down to talk, and enjoyed our drinks. At about 9:35am we went back to the Church of the Redeemer and waited in their lobby. At 9:50am a docent came and took us to the tower.
It was quite a climb for me (178 steps). The spiral staircase was just wide enough for my shoulders and I don’t know what I would have done if I met someone coming the other way – one of us would have to back up. There were two floors we could stop on and I took full advantage of both of them. The view from the top was worth the climb. The morning was clear and bright and I think we all got some great photos. We stayed at the top for about ten minutes and then headed back to our hotel.
It has been a great day and its only 10:15am!