Dead End Or Open Door (2 of 5) by Jim Henry

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DEAD END OR OPEN DOOR (2 of 5)
Rev. Jim Henry, Pastor
Psalm 23:3b
Sunday 08/13/00, 9:15 a.m. Service

Some years ago we were in Israel on one of our
trips and on one Jewish Sabbath I decided I would go
over to the old city of Jerusalem and see the city on
my own. Being in Jerusalem on the Sabbath it is very,
very quiet, hardly anything moving; it's very still;
it's a wonderful time to visit this ancient city. It
reminded me of when I was growing up and everything
was closed down on Sunday in the South. On the Jewish
Sabbath, as you probably know, everything is closed
down from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. So I
thought it would be interesting to take a leisurely
walk through the city without a guide. I felt like I
had been in Jerusalem enough in the past to do pretty
well on my own.

As I walked around I came to what is called the
Great Synagogue, which is not in the old city but is
just outside. It is a massive, magnificent facility
and a service was in progress. So I thought I would
just slip in and attend. Of course I didn't know where
to go, much as some of you might have had trouble
finding your way when you first came to our church
here. I kind of peeked inside and saw it was pretty
well packed downstairs. So I decided to go upstairs
and sit in the balcony.

I went upstairs and found a seat, sat down and
began watching the proceedings. Shortly I began to
notice something strange, something I hadn't noticed
when I first sat down--all the men were downstairs and
all the women were up there in the balcony. I thought
that maybe it might be a special day or something so I
kept sitting there. I noticed these ladies in front of
me kept whispering among themselves and finally they
apparently designated a "hitter" and one of the ladies
walked back to me and said, "Sir, we're so glad to
have you in our service today, but all the men sit
downstairs. This is for ladies only upstairs an ...


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