For Whom The Bell Tolls

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Every day, thousands of people walk or ride past Christ Church in the old city of Jerusalem. Would you help us restore our tubular bells, to strengthen our gospel witness? As John Donne, the great Anglican poet, wrote:

Send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

The Gospel to the Jew and the Greek

For 200 years, the core of our ministry in Jerusalem has been evangelism and education about Jesus of Nazareth. This is why we selected our strategic location, just inside the Jaffa Gate of the Old City. It allows us to reach both Jew and Greek with the power of God unto salvation. With Paul we proclaim the gospel boldly:

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For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Romans 1:16).

Thousands of pilgrims, workers, residents, clergy, government officials and many others pass through the area every day, mostly on foot but also in vehicles. They all get an opportunity to encounter our witness for the Gospel. If they stop, they can enter our historic church: encountering the word of God through scripture and stained glass, joining in prayer and song through frequent services. And the bells will draw them in.

The Allure of Jaffa Gate

Jaffa Gate is one of the best-maintained parts of the Old City of Jerusalem, and that’s no accident. The presence of Christ Church and the British Consulate, going all the way back to the 1840s, made the area a magnet for development and commerce. Other major powers, including the United States, soon opened their own consular offices in the neighborhood and investments in maintenance and infrastructure followed.

This is probably why the Jaffa Gate was the point through which General Edmund Allenby entered the city on 11 December 1917, at the height of the First World War. The iconic photographs of Allenby entering through the Jaffa Gate and later addressing the assembled journalists and others from the steps leading into the Tower of David complex added to the allure of the area, permanently establishing it as a “must-visit” spot for locals and tourists alike.

Compassion for the Crowd

Following the 1967 Six-Day War, the Jaffa Gate became a major point of access to the Western Wall, greatly increasing the amount of foot traffic past our front door. Many hotels, restaurants, tour companies, shops, visitor centers, and museums were built in the area, which drew even more visitors. Soon, the need arose for a police station so that the government could provide security for all this activity and a post office also opened up.

As Jesus had “compassion” on “the crowds” Christ Church seeks to serve these many visitors with initiatives such as our coffee shop, guesthouse, heritage center, and of course the church itself (Matthew 9:36). Our strategic location allows us to be “salt” and “light” amid all this activity, proclaiming the gospel to the Jew and the Greek (Matthew 5:13-14). But if we are not to hide our light “under a basket,” we can no longer keep our tubular bells silent in their tower (Matthew 5:15).

For Whom The Bell Tolls

Now we have a unique opportunity to ring out a new song in the city of Jerusalem. Once renovated, our tubular bells will be able to play hymns, gently but surely filling the city with a gospel invitation, calling to all who pass through Jaffa Gate.

Would you consider joining this effort? Join us as we stand with Paul on the gospel of Christ:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Romans 1:16).

Video

Here is a video about the Jerusalem Bells project, to which you can give here!

Published on

May 17, 2023

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