Saturday, 13 March 2010

What Is Truth?

A Roman official looked at the man in front of him, an insignificant, tired, beaten-up Jew, and asked rhetorically, What is truth? I believe he was somewhat annoyed and may have shrugged indignantly – of all the places, HERE, you are talking to me about the truth?! The man had just told him he came into the world to testify to the truth...

Almost two thousand years later, I live on the exact spot where this conversation took place.

Or rather, within the radius of a few metres. Or, was it on the other side of the city? Then, it would have been a mile away... Or a couple of blocks away, where the Russian church stands?Did the conversation take place in the manner it was described, you might ask. Well, did it? Two thousand years later, on the spot where it took place (where exactly?..), the conversation is still hanging in the air. What is truth?

Did someone hang a poster on the gate of the mosque, saying that the Third Temple will be rebuilt? Did someone come inside in carnival costumes? Or did someone say that someone posted a note, that someone came inside...? Stones were thrown, people were injured, no one knows any more what was said. Are there 30 000 soldiers in the city or 3 000? And what is it exactly they are here for? Is the synagogue being opened on Monday or Tuesday and does it have any connection with the lunar calendar? Oh, was it just that Tuesday is the third day of creation, and God said that everything was good three times? Could it be that someone heard about the opening of the synagogue and mistook it for the Third Temple, the rumours of which are highly exaggerated anyway? No, apparently Tuesday is a good day to build the Third Temple... And why is it that the Church that finally has the religious freedom it did not have for 700 years now side with its former opressors against the people who gave it the religious freedom? Because?...

Oh, and Rachel's Tomb, why exactly is it not a Jewish holy place? Honestly, I forgot... They said it belongs to everyone, and that Palestinian Christians and Muslims can't go to pray there. I'm sorry they can't, but did they go before? I thought Rachel was Jewish, that's why I called it a Jewish holy place, in much the same way as David's Tomb is, but all hell broke loose...

Someone says it was the children, someone says they were men, someone says they locked themselves inside the mosque overnight, someone says the soldiers wouldn't let anyone in to pray, but they would let the tourists and the Jews. That should be enough to start a riot. It should, or maybe it shouldn't... And Palestine, was it ever a country? And Hebrew, was it ever a dead language? And does Jewish history exist? And does Palestinian history exist? The guards at the Holy Sepulchre, would they carry the same swords and staffs at the time when they used to beat up the Jews for even approaching the holy place?..

A Roman governor, 2000 years ago, I wonder how he must have felt. There was this man there, telling him he came to testify to the truth. Was it the same back then? Or is it a curse of this place, for not seeing the Truth? Why is it, that on the same spot where my King said HE is the truth, the truth is impossible to figure out? It seems that it just does not exist.

Jesus said He is the way, and the truth and the life. Not a line in the news, not even a verse in the Bible. He Himself. All of him. His presence, His Spirit. In every drop, in every crumb. Little dogs eat crumbs from your table... The Spirit flows at the ruins of your Temple... Good Samaritans feed the Gentiles... Sometimes I feel the line between deep faith and profound confusion is blurred, because God is so much bigger that anything I ever imagined Him to be.

I was telling your people today, with tears in my eyes, that they showed you to me in the way I have never experienced before, Lord. They showed me your heart. You are leading me up the road that demands great courage... On the spot where Jesus claimed to be the truth, why is truth so hard to find?

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