Jerusalem—city of hope

“When you see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like grass” (Isaiah 66:14). These words, translated here in the New King James Version of the Bible, were hastily carved by a fourth-century pilgrim as graffiti on the crumbling Western Wall in Jerusalem. I’ve heard it said that the Temple wall had so captured his heart that it became a place of hope and renewal for him.

I was fascinated by this ancient graffiti when I visited Jerusalem. The city itself is one of momentous history, but also, I found, extraordinary vitality, making it an inspiring place to visit. Historically, it has often been a center of turmoil. Christ Jesus lamented, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!” (Luke 13:34).

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