Our class walked to the Old City and visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It's the most authentic place of Jesus' crucifixion, death, and burial. It's also the place that contains the stone upon which it's believed that Abraham bound Isaac. There's a small Monastery of Abraham on the same site. This holy church connects Abraham and Jesus, and this holy church is a place of conflict among the Christian groups that manage it: 3 primary sects (Armenians, Greek Orthodox, Franciscans) and 3 minor sects (Ethiopians, Coptic, Syrian Orthodox). With some free time we wandered all around this awesome space with its centuries of history and joined in a Greek Orthodox service amidst many people moving about.
Afterwards I walked with a classmate around part of the Old City wall and through a Muslim Cemetery. We saw some wooden boxes that are used to carry Muslim bodies to their final resting place. The graves are outside of the city walls and overlooking these graves are Jewish graves on the Mount of Olives. The conflict of life here is even present in the placement of graves in death. I continue to be praying for peace in this land and among all peoples. Being here brings to light so much I have yet to learn.