by lefever on April 25, 2011
Do they know that upon their ceiling is the Magen David: The Shield of David (representing God as David’s true shield so poetically sung in the Psalms)? Or is this just the design of six arcs in a dome – a practical architectural design? Or is it both?
Occasionally I will see somewhere in a church, a Star of David in a mural or even the décor such as above to the right of St. Michael’s Alter in Chicago or on the face of the font at Grace-St. Lukes in Memphis…a small tie to Christianity’s past, the God of Israel, and hence Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham – the promises of God to those he had covenant and the continuation into the New Covenant in Jesus, the divinely anointed King through His sacrificial death and resurrection.
Here, this is no small nod to the past, or a mere wink as in other churches, if it is intentionally designed, this most recognized symbol of the Jewish people, this design of unity, this connection to the past from whence Christianity was born hoovers as a covering over the Armenean Orthodox Cathedral of St. James like a shield representing the covering of God – with the symbol of Israel, the Magen David–a title of the God of Israel.
How much more powerful to be here in the Old City of Jerusalem – this land upon which the stage of history is set: this place where the Jews are the Chosen of God from whom Yeshua was born through Miriam.
Since I have been in this Old City of Jerusalem, this thought has been growing in me: this question of separation – why is, and why was the Christian tree separated from her Jewish roots? I had never sensed the separation before, but now I am feeling the completeness, the fullness of the lineage, and the severance from the roots makes the tree of Christianity feel dead, like the wood of the cross.
St. James, a Jew.
I am standing under the dome in the Armenian Orthodox Cathedral in Jerusalem wondering if they know that the “Shield of David” covers them.
by lefever on February 21, 2011
St. James Cathedral of the Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem is one of the oldest Christian churches in Jerusalem. I had been there three times, twice with permission from Bishop Sevon to photograph.
St. James is not open to tourists during the day. The Church is open only for masses; morning, afternoon, special occasion: it is consecrated.
Bishop Sevon held my hand and griped my arm in front of the St. James alter, giving me a lesson on consecration through the story of James. The Virgin Mary was the vehicle to explain why James was not the blood brother of Jesus the Messiah, but only a “brother” in terms of association, like in a fraternity, or an order, or a nationality, as the Jews welcome one another in such a way once it is determined upon meeting that you are Jewish – like Christians too – brotherhood in the embodiment, but not …