My dear friend Andreas have just returned from a trip to Israel and came back with some amazing stories. He shared how he and his friends were walking in the Old City of Jerusalem, and suddenly Andreas recognized the Church of S:t Mark, a Syriac Orthodox church that claims to be built on the house of Mary, the mother of Mark (Acts 12:12-17). Not only that, they claim that this also contains the upper room, the place of the Last Supper, several appearances of the resurrected Jesus and where the Holy Spirit ascended on Pentecost; although this is also claimed by the Cenacle. Anyways, they went inside to have a look.
It’s a pretty cool church. The liturgical language, Syrian, is similar to Arameic, the language of Jesus. The liturgy itself is extremely old, and even if it is doubtful that the practices of the church goes all the way back to biblical times, it’s a good indicator of how ancient Christianity looked like.
Andreas and his friends met a nun who was so excited to share what God is doing in their little church. She told them about a man who had came to the church, and how she guided him around. A few weeks later he returned, and the nun welcomed him back, but for some reason he looked confused and said something in Hebrew. The nun didn’t know Hebrew so she asked him to talk English like last time they met. The man was even more confused and talked a lot of Hebrew with her.
Both started to get irritated until an interpreter who worked in the church came to them. He asked the man what was wrong and he said “I don’t understand English, I don’t get why this nun doesn’t talk with me in Hebrew like last time!” Appearantly, the first time they met the man had spoken in Hebrew while the nun heard him speak English, and she had responded in English while the man heard Hebrew.
Now that’s certainly an upper room miracle! And they wouldn’t have found out unless the man had returned to the church, which he had no plans of doing until his wife told him that God had spoken to her, ordering him to go there. The nun was so encouraged by this testimony, and so was Andreas and his friends. It’s a cool reminder of the power of God, His work in Jerusalem and that he loves cross-lingual and cross-cultural communication.
Update: Another weird thing, Andreas claims that the reason he recognized S:t Mark’s church and told his friends that they should go inside was that he recognized it from my blog. But I have never posted a picture of this church (I didn’t even know that it existed) until in this post, once I did post a picture of a church in Jerusalem but that was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which looks quite different. Either Andreas has mixed my blog with something else, or the Holy SPirit has somehow shown him this post before it was written.