I couldn’t understand the tour guide but it was a great tour of one of the oldest castles and chapels, just 20 minutes from homebase. It was 12th century wow, WOW WOW WOW! and we did get a tourbook to read in English about the place, so I wasn’t totally lost. (The torture chamber needed no explanation, yikes! The Rack! Water torture. Solitary confinement – they dropped you in from the ceiling for the guarantee of a long painful death. Ugh. Ugh!)
Gratefully the rest of the tour was a pleasure to see original 12th century beauty and 17th-18th century renovations. And oh the views! Here is where good king lived before he went away then returned to be King. There were not the rooms with the pure gold because this castle was for residence and it’s treasures were raided 4 times at least, and it had a fire about every 100 years. The thick walls survived but the treasures not so much. However the Chapel was so beautiful, restored in the 1700s, I think. The Gothic-era throne room is so large. They accumulated tremendous portrait paintings. And the library would blow you away, newest books are 1700s, oldest are 11th century German ones. There are German copies of the Bible (a page opened to the laws of Moses I am told) and tremendous spiritual paintings. I could see and know the meaning of the paintings because I have read The Book, the Bible, yet it’s the faces portrayed in joy and anguish that we appreciate mentally absorbing. These books stand like a library frozen. I kept wondering what info is in the books we don’t know. What’s in the books?
My cousin then took us home, we rested until her mom and extended family came by. They have a new memory album and want to fill in the book for the family tree, she remembered the package my great grandfather mailed from America up to the 1940s – he mailed clothes and other items, they mailed him mushrooms which are so traditional to harvest from the national forests here. In her book, she will organize her memories, in the trees organize what family she knows, hopes to fill in what she doesn’t know. What should be in the book?
This brings me to my scripture readings, old testament, the people found a book of info they didn’t know, the laws of Moses. King Josiah tried to understand these laws of love, pages of instruction maintaining connection with God. Scriptures are filled with connections and family histories and lineages too. Yes, the book is the direction and recording, but inquiry of the Lord is the connection.
I have inquired of my family roots, and those connections have brought me love 1000-fold over and over. That’s what we need to research family trees for, not riches but reaches. Meeting cousins. Knowing love.
That’s what’s in the Book: LOVE!!!
2 Kings 22
The Book of the Law Found
Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.
In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent the secretary, Shaphan son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, to the temple of the Lord….
Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.” He gave it to Shaphan, who read it. …. Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.
When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes. He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Akbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant: “Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.”
Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Akbor, Shaphan and Asaiah went to speak to the prophet Huldah, she was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the New Quarter. She said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people, according to everything written in the book the king of Judah has read. Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all the idols their hands have made, my anger will burn against this place and will not be quenched.’
Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people—that they would become a curse and be laid waste—and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the Lord. Therefore I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.’”