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"The Unmovable Ladder" - - by Rev. Weldon Bares

The ancient Church of the Holy Sepulcher was built over the site of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus in Jerusalem.

Through the years, many different groups have controlled this ancient church. Today, there are six faith groups with claims to it. The main three are the Armenian Orthodox, the Roman Catholic and the Greek Orthodox. Three other communities possess small properties and certain rights in the building: The Egyptian Coptic Orthodox, the Syrian Orthodox and the Ethiopian Orthodox. Amazingly, the key to the church is controlled by a Muslim family, and has been in this family for 1,300 years.

Visitors to this holy site usually notice a ladder that is resting on the outside ledge of the church. According to the story, in 1860, a member of one of the factions put up a ladder to repair a window, but before the project was completed, another faction pointed out that the window belonged to them. Because the broken window pane belonged to one group and the ladder belonged to another, the result was the ladder was left leaning against the wall right under the window pane. It has been there since 1860 and is still there today. Nobody ever moves the old ladder.

We sure sometimes get stubborn and hard-headed. Even in the church. Even in the most sacred church on the planet. I pray that God will forgive us for always insisting on our own way . . . and help us to get along with each other!

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