Golden gate of beautiful

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Second Service
I saw a great golden gate, thegolden gate of beautiful.” I heard the Lord singing a song over his people, helping them call forth its opening. “Open wide, open wide, open wide.” I wrote the following spontaneous prose, while Rachel Allen accompanied on piano:
How beautiful the feet of those who have danced over sorrow

and triumphed

How beautiful the withered hands outstretched,

reaching out despite of, in spite of

Your beauty will come, your beauty will come

How beautiful the hearts, the bruised and broken hearts

that open to me

How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful

How beautiful the lips that have spoken well of me,

proclaimed my good name—

the lips that have hungered and thirsted after me

How lovely, how lovely, how lovely these are to me

How beautiful the minds that inquire, the restless minds

that have searched,

lost in the depths of me, embracing my mystery

How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful

How beautiful the sick, the lame, the wounded,

the shamed

You who have still called my name LOVELY

Your beauty will come, your beauty will come

How beautiful the sacrifices made in the face

of my abundance

How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful

Those who stood, those who stand,

those who are waiting,

Your beauty will come, your beauty will come
Open, open, open wide the gate

Open, open, open wide the gate

Open. She will open. Open wide the gate.

Come open. Wider. She will open still.

Context for the “beauty gate” or “golden gate”
The Golden Gate, as it is called in Christian literature, is the oldest of the current gates in Jerusalem's Old City Walls. According to Jewish tradition, the Shekhinah (שכינה) (Divine Presence) used to appear through this gate, and will appear again when the Messiah comes (Ezekiel 44:1–3) and a new gate replaces the present one; that is why Jews used to pray for mercy at the former gate at this location.[1] Hence the name Sha'ar Harachamim (שער הרחמים), the Gate of Mercy. It is also said that Jesus passed through this gate on Palm Sunday. In ancient times, the gate was known as the Beautiful Gate.
It is one of four SEALED GATES within the Old City of Jerusalem, a walled area within the current modern city. (There are seven additional gates which are OPEN GATES.)
If you were to approach the Temple in Jerusalem in the first century A.D. you would pass through the eastern gate where Jesus made His triumphal entry. Then you would come to the Court of the Gentiles, which was a large court paved with stones of various colors. It was not exclusive, being open to all comers.
Going beyond the Court of the Gentiles, at the top of a terrace, there was a platform of about 15 feet, followed by another wall. On the east side stood the magnificent 60 foot wide "Gate Beautiful" mentioned in Acts 3:2,10. During the time of the morning and evening sacrifices this great entrance was the place of public worship.
It was also referred to as the "Gate Susan" because it contained a beautifully sculptured relief of the city of Susa. Ironically Susa, no longer in existence, has a Chicago connection. It had a significant Christian population during the first millennium, and was a diocese of the Church of the East, which is an ancient Christian church. Currently, this church is centered in Chicago, but with most members in Mesopotamia.
Gate Beautiful led into the Court of the Women, (named this not because there were only women there, but because women could not go beyond it) which contained the Temple treasury where people donated their money (Mk 12:41-44).  This was the site of the “widow’s mite” story, as well as the blind man’s testimony that he was healed by Jesus, and the crippled man’s miracle Peter and John
Mark 12:41-44

Susa had a significant Christian population during the first millennium, and was a diocese of the Church of the East, is an ancient Christian church currently centered in Chicago, Illinois, United States, but with most members in Mesopotamia.

Acts 3:1-11

One day at three o'clock in the afternoon, Peter and John were on their way into the Temple for prayer meeting. At the same time there was a man crippled from birth being carried up. Every day he was set down at the Temple gate, the one named Beautiful, to beg from those going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter the Temple, he asked for a handout. Peter, with John at his side, looked him straight in the eye and said, "Look here." He looked up, expecting to get something from them.

Peter said, "I don't have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!" He grabbed him by the right hand and pulled him up. In an instant his feet and ankles became firm. He jumped to his feet and walked.
The man went into the Temple with them, walking back and forth, dancing and praising God. Everybody there saw him walking around and praising God. They recognized him as the one who sat begging at the Temple's Gate Beautiful and rubbed their eyes, astonished, scarcely believing what they were seeing.
The man threw his arms around Peter and John, ecstatic. All the people ran up to where they were at Solomon's Porch to see it for themselves [because] 22

…the man who had been miraculously healed was over forty years old.

31While they were praying, the place where they were meeting trembled and shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God's Word with fearless confidence.

 32-33The whole congregation of believers was united as one—one heart, one mind! They didn't even claim ownership of their own possessions. No one said, "That's mine; you can't have it." They shared everything. The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master Jesus, and grace was on all of them.

 34-35And so it turned out that not a person among them was needy. Those who owned fields or houses sold them and brought the price of the sale to the apostles and made an offering of it. The apostles then distributed it according to each person's need.

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