It’s almost 6 am here in Jerusalem and almost 10 pm where you are, if you are in Ok City. We had a truly remarkable experience yesterday that stayed with me during the night. I hate that I didn’t get much sleep, but middle of the night worship going on in my mind was something amazing! Yesterday afternoon we went to the Pool of Bethesda where, for many years, “the lame, blind, and paralyzed,” would gather by the pool. Basically, those with no hope in society congregated at the side of the pool to spend their days. They gathered there because many believed that the angel of the Lord would stir the waters and when that happened the first one in the water would be healed.
John 5 tells us that there was a particular man there one day who had been sitting beside the pool for 38 years. 38 YEARS! As we sat by the ancient pool I read the Scripture to our group and asked them, “Do you really think that after 38 years the man had any hope of being healed? Do you think he woke up that morning and said, ‘Today is the day! I can feel it in my bones!!'” I don’t think so. I think he had given up all hope, but that he continued to go to the Pool of Bethesda each day because that was his routine, those were his friends, and that was his social network.
Well, on this particular day Jesus showed up at the Pool and healed the man. The man didn’t go looking for Jesus–Jesus came looking for him. When Jesus showed up at the pool the man didn’t say, “Jesus, Son of God, please me!” Jesus asked him, “Do you want to get well?” Jesus came looking for the man in need and He met his need.
What a great lesson for us. I told our group sitting by the Pool of Bethesday, “We all are needy people. We can’t fix our situations any more than the man could get himself into the water. We can trust the Lord to meet us at our point of need and lead us through.” What a blessing it is to be able to study God’s Word right in the place where these events took place.
We got up from our Bible study time and walked about 20 yards to one of the most amazing churches in the world. Not amazing because of it’s architecture or beauty, but because of its acoustics. In The Church of St. Anne there is no teaching or talking allowed–only singing. When we walked in there was a group of believers from Slovakia already singing. Actually it was one man, Jozef, I later found out. Jozef was singing “Ave Maria” and it sounded like Pavoratti! He sang about 3 stanzas of the song and all of us were moved to tears. The tone and reverb in the ancient limestone church was absolutely amazing. I’ve posted a picture of Jozef and Pat Trompeter, our own Pavoratti, for you to see.
After the Slovakians finished singing the BCC crew took their place in the pews and we sang like you’ve never heard singing before. There were people in our group who actually came up to me after we finished and said, “You sounded good.” You know that those must be some amazing acoustics to pull that off!
Seriously, it was such a moving moment for us to lift our voices together and sing, “Amazing Grace,” “I Love The Lord,” and “He is Lord!” I wish you could have all been there.