Dear Peachtree Family,
Until the 19th Century, a missing piece of archeological evidence animated critics of the New Testament. A healing story at the pool of Bethesda near the Temple in Jerusalem was reported in John’s gospel but nowhere to be found. With all of the excavation that had taken place in the ancient city, the lack of ruins of a giant pool fueled skepticism of the historical reliability of the Bible.
Then a German hospital-founder, archeologist, and architect by the name of Conrad Schnick, discovered the actual pool from John 5. Hearing his resume always makes me feel like such an underachiever. Here is a picture of the vestiges visible today.
This Sunday, we will look closely at Jesus’ encounter at the Pool of Bethesda. It’s really there, and I believe it really happened. We will be exploring one of our greatest fears, the fear of change.
Just a few paces away from these remains is the Church of Saint Anne. Constructed in 1138 over a previous church from the 5th Century, it is one of the rare churches not destroyed from the Muslim conquest a few decades later. Christian pilgrims come from all over the world to remember the healing presence of Jesus and to sing in the church with the finest acoustics I’ve ever heard. For a little taste, check out the two minute, unedited video of one of our beloved hymns. In a few weeks, Peachtree’s ranks will join the pilgrims to gather and rejoice that Jesus still restores us today in spite of all our excuses, doubts, and fears.
With hope in Christ,