December 2017, close to the new year
You can act when God is calling you, but nobody forces you to do so…
If you have had an idea for a long time and it turns out that this idea is the DNA of a huge project, you are then confronted with a sobering thought: “What if I hadn´t followed this idea?” This is how I feel right now while writing this report about our significant journey to Rome. Rome is basically the key to the Menora-project. Last December we decided to visit the city. It was quite challenging to find a time when all four of us were free. At the end there were four days left to decide what to do. The 29th of December to the 2nd of January 2018. As I already said, when God is calling you, you don´t have to go. It is certainly easier to stay in your comfort zone. Thankfully, this time we still managed to stay comfortable, as we started our trip in the BMW 5 from my dad. Non-stop from Cologne via Stuttgart, we drove to Rome. We changed the drivers 4 times and drove the whole night. Our agenda was based on 4. Moses 13. The land and its scouts: To discover Rome and see what the Lord has prepared for us. We felt like he wanted to show us something. We didn´t know what to expect. But one thing we knew, God had already planned the whole thing. Now we only needed to walk in his arrangements. The special thing about our group was the mixture of ease and seriousness. Those aspects still paint our group with different colours. After 15 hours of driving and finding a hostel, thanks to 3G we finally arrived. We knew: “Keep our eyes and ears open to what God is showing us.”
The pope in silence
The 15th of October 1943 is a day that will forever stay in the minds of the Jews in Rome. This day the Jewish quarter was surrounded by SS-Soldiers. They took the Jewish people to bring them to the concentration camp in Auschwitz. During this time, Pope Pius XII was asked for help. But he was silent and did nothing. This silence is still hovering over the Christians in Rome. The “silent pope” moved us a lot. Also, because we just started the movement ReformaZION. The cornerstone of the movement is the verse Isaiah 62: “For Zions sake, I will not keep silent”. We see this verse as an inspiration to take a stand for the people of Israel.
Back to Rome. We were sitting together with a German couple, living in Rome, who are responsible for a Remembrance Day. We were telling them the vision of our project. They were on fire for it and offered us the opportunity to get in contact with the former pope Benedict, who is a family friend of theirs. We could have sent him a letter to tell him about our plan. There was only one hindrance. We would have needed to address the letter with “our holy Father”. Obviously, we didn´t.
Walking in an bubble, made by God
If I had to describe St. Peter's Square, I would define it as the "center of Rome". In order to describe what we experienced as a team, I need to appeal to the reader's vivid imagination as well as to his discernment of spirits and a touch of adventure readiness. I cannot explain it otherwise, but we felt like we were moving in a bubble created by God. We walked there and felt like we saw things that nobody else could see. Walking through marble columns and passing a scary mimesis of the Christmas story, we found ourselves in the middle of a realm that seemed completely strange.
In the middle of the realm you find a huge obelisk from ancient Egypt. It is 25m high, and the pope of the year 1568 himself ordered that it be brought to Rome. We were wondering why this strange object would stand on such a place.
God opened our eyes. Thanks to 3G and Wikipedia, we found out that Obelisks are supposed to be a connection between the spiritual world of the “gods” and the physical world. What stood out to us was the little cross at the top of the pillar. We felt like God was saying that this is what happens when somebody removes the plate that says INRI. Jesus, the king of the Jews. As we know that He himself was Jewish and is the king of the Jews, we recognized the alienation of the cross. As well as the lack of the redeeming meaning of it. We saw what happens when the cross is abused as a symbol of power and when the true identity of our saviour is taken. The roots of this cross felt like a symbol for a modern Egypt. We looked down the Obelisk and a saw that a huge compass rose (150m) surrounds the obelisk. Like the false Christian identity, rooted in Egypt symbolism is spread out to all cardinal points.
We asked ourselves if we had too much imagination or if God was showing us something…
We came to the conclusion that Rome, which is generally seen as the centre of Christianity, is definitely not. The city and its monuments stand for an alienation of the biblical truths and the true centre of Gods kingdom, which is Jerusalem. This alienation seems like the symbol for the alienation of the Christian faith to the God of Israel and the Jewish Messiah. Since those meaningful days in Rome, we feel God’s leading power more and more, and his clear message of a recovery of biblical truths to his chosen land Israel, the Jewish people and his holy city Jerusalem.
The Arc of Titus
One relief, one history, one statement: victory. In former times, I felt that this was the statement about the victory against Jerusalem, the kingdom of Israel and maybe even a feeling of a victory against God. Whether or not Titus knew about it, we don´t know. But God’s direct glory and holiness was present in Jerusalem, in the temple, in one small room. This exact room was destroyed by Titus and his people. The Arch of Titus celebrates this “victory” of the Romans with a relief carved into it. It shows how the Romans stole the Menora, one of the most holy instruments of the temple. We feel that the time is ready to take the Menora out of their hands and bring it back to its home, Jerusalem. Today, nobody knows where the real Menora is situated. Nevertheless, we want to make a statement with our project. We want to show that we recognize the physical and spiritual robbery against the Jewish people as God’s people and we want to help to make their real Calling prominent again.
This report would never end, but now I feel like I should tell you that finally we drove back home again. We were sitting in the car, looking out of the windows and we knew, we had an agenda. We did not know yet, how to realize the Menora project. Since more than one year we carry the golden Menora in our hearts and know that possibly the journey won´t end even when it finds its end in Jerusalem. We think that the wind rose blew a fog over the King of the Jews. But know the light of the Menora will help to make the view on him, our saviour clear again.
Micah 4,2: “for from Zion guidance will go out, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”