Let's talk about my home – Jerusalem.
There is no question as to the complexity of it's history, spirituality, and present day reality.
Some people refer to it as a divided city. Some go even further to say that it rests upon a divided land. I won't get into all that because for me, I move from side to side and interact with all it's peoples. Perhaps this is reflective of my desire to see a sense of oneness settle amidst her walls…
There's no avoiding the sense of separation I suppose, for in the Old City, it's areas are divided into the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Armenian quarters. And when you visit – each one contains sites holy to myriads across the planet – along with a good slice of humanity too.
Jerusalem is of course connected to the Jewish people with their rich narrative throughout this land. The Wailing Wall (Western Wall) is Judaism's holiest site, once being part of Herod's reconstructed wall to the temple compound. Islam's third holiest shrine is a mere 50 yards away where Muslims believe the prophet Mohammad came with his winged horse. And there is of course no denying the significance of Jerusalem for Christians as the Lord of Heaven and Earth walked these streets and was crucified outside the city walls.
During Easter, here I often have this picture of Mary Magdalene running through the narrow winding streets going up and down the hills on her way to share the good news that she had seen Jesus alive!
Because of all this significance to all these peoples, both here and abroad, control of the city is one of the toughest challenges to it's prosperity.
Even among this uneasy coexistence, many just want to see peace come – including myself. But perhaps parallel to Jesus' day, people are looking for a different kind of solution to peace – and maybe Jerusalem again won't recognize the good within her and the One who came to gather her.
Middle East Correspondent