I am in Istabul this week for work. The bishop of Nidaros, his 12 deans and the administrative leaders (I am one of them) at the diocese office are having one of their four a year meetings. We have got a meeting room in our hotel, up on the penthouse, with a fantastic veiw to Hagia Sofia one way, Bosphoros the other, sure it can be kind of hard to concentrate ;-) But in between the meetings there are some time off, some time for sightseeing, some time for official visits, and a tiny little bit of time for ones own.
These first days we have had a guide with us, Sedat Ozseven. His knowledge and willingness to share, together with his friendliness and kind smiles, have given us moments, experiences, days which we will never forget. Thank you Sedat!
Yesterday afternoon Sedat took us to Chora church (chora means outside the city/outside the walls. I had hearn nothing about this church, this gem of Byzantine art, before coming here, somehow noen of the guidebooks I have brought say something about it.
The church was filled with the most beautiful mosaics, telling the story of Mary and Jesus, starting with hjis parents. Here you see Mary´s parents hugging after Mary´s mother got, from an angel, the good news that she was pregnant.
Here you see Mary taking her first steps :-)
Sedat, a muslim by birth, was guiding a group of very well educated Norwegian theologians. The story of the birth of Jesus, the story we know so well, came out new and fresh though Sedat´s words, and the Chora mosaics.
I am realizing , more and more, that I am in love.
In love with this world and its people.
This last photo shows Mary giving birth to Jesus.
I have bought a book about Hagia Sofia and Chora churches, and can´t wait to learn more.......