In a time when much of what we see in the News Media speaks to us of the human capacity for violence, injustice, complacency and despair, it’s welcome when a “good news” item turns up. One such report is of the unveiling of the restored “Edicule” in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Knowing that a huge project was underway at the time a number of us went on pilgrimage in February, I was pleased enough that we were able to enter the traditional site of Jesus’ burial - though it was shrouded in scaffolding. But now the restoration is complete. Amongst the discoveries is the bedrock in which Christ’s body was said to have been laid, and the dating of the two marble slabs in the chamber which pilgrims may visit: the upper slab, from Crusader times when the church was rebuilt; the lower slab, dated to the fourth century when the first Christian Emperor, Constantine, made provision to build the original church.
Does it matter? Yes, because the events of Christ’s Passion, of Holy Week and Easter, happen in real time - his betrayal, condemnation, death, burial and Resurrection are a matter of record. And physical evidence of their probable location takes us in a special way to recognise how God touches our world. Christian faith is more than a merely “spiritual” experience.
This article is from the April 2017 issue of our Parish Magazine - click to find it through this link