Sainte-Chapelle

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Aaron and I traveled to Paris two weeks ago to spend a few days with my best friend from college, Jenn and her husband John.  We were so excited to finally have family and/or friends come to visit.  We spent 2.5 days with them in Paris.  Aaron and I went a day early so we could spend a little time together too.  It was a fun few days in Paris and then we all took the train south so they could spend a few days with us in Sanilhac.

One of the places we visited while in Paris was the Sainte-Chapelle.  Aaron nor I had visited this cathedral before.  The Sainte-Chapelle is a medieval Gothic chapel dating back to the late 1230’s-1240’s.  It was erected under the commission of King Louis IX to house his collection of the Passion relics, including Christ’s crown of thorns.  The chapel was damaged during the French Revolution but it was restored in the 19th century.  It has one of the largest 13th century stained glass collections in the world.  It was magnificent!  My iphone did not capture the vibrant colors of the stained glass.  It is not a large chapel, like Notre Dame, but it is beautiful!  The ceiling of the chapel is a vibrant blue that did not show up in my photos.  The Sainte-Chapelle is a few blocks away from the Notre Dame.

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Good Friday

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As I reflect today upon one of the most significant events in the history of the world, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, I am filled with love and gratitude at this time of the year.  I had the opportunity to study in Jerusalem for 3 months back in the summer of 1992.  I vividly remember the Mount of Olives and the hillside that Christ visited where he prayed and bled from every pore.  I distinctly remember the peace and reverence that I felt as I walked around the grove of olive trees.  I have the opportunity almost everyday to run, walk or drive by groves of olive trees here in France.  Yesterday on my run I was overcome by the similarity of the groves that I see here to those I saw 23 years ago.  I am grateful I have both these visual images in my mind that allow me to ponder upon the events of that day so many years ago!

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It is Good Friday!  Because of Christ’s suffering in Gethsemane and on Calvary, I have so much to be grateful for.  Calvary is real!  What He experienced from Gethsemane, to being whipped, wearing a crown of thorns, carrying his own cross and finally being nailed to a cross between two thieves was a selfless act on behalf of the whole world.

There is a green hill far away,
Without a city wall,
Where the dear Lord was crucified,
Who died to save us all.

We may not know, we cannot tell,
What pains he had to bear,
But we believe it was for us
He hung and suffered there.

There was no other good enough
To pay the price of sin,
He only could unlock the gate
Of heav’n and let us in.

O dearly, dearly has he loved!
And we must love him too,
And trust in his redeeming blood,
And try his works to do.