Hello friends . . . grace and peace,
We have arrived in Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus. It’s pretty amazing. In many ways, it’s nothing like we expected. It’s not an old looking city with dirt roads and old crumbling buildings. The roads are paved. There are stop lights and shops with blinking signs. The buildings that were here at the time of Jesus are long gone, having been built upon time and time again over the years as different nations occupied this land.
Our day began with a slight detour to see the aqueducts built by King Herod that ran from Mount Carmel all the way to Caesarea Maritima on the Mediterranean Sea. These aqueducts ran for 12 miles. Those Roman architects knew what they were doing!
After our time standing in the Mediteranan Sea, we made our way to Mount Carmel which is where the prophet Elijah calls down the fire from God to pretty much embarrass the heck out of the priests who worshipped Baal. You can read all about it in the Old Testament. Check out 1 Kings chapter 18 starting with verse 16. We were up pretty high and got some sweet pictures!
We then drove from Mount Carmel to Nazareth and stepped into The Church of the Annunciation which surrounds the spot that is traditionally believed to be where the angel met with Mary telling her about her impending pregnancy. Again, read the story in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1 verses 26-38. We heard from our professor, Fr. Kamal, about the incredible amount of trust that Mary put in God as she accepted the call of God on her life. He told us that without trust, there is no future relationship.
We marveled at the beauty of all the mosaics from all over the world, each depicting their version of the image of Mary and the Baby Jesus. To see the diversity and the varying ways that people worship God is always so beautiful.
We then walked the streets of Nazareth on our way to The Sisters of Nazareth Convent where we are staying for the night. Such a wonderful and beautiful place. There is another pilgrimage group here as well from Korea so we are, once again, reminded of the diversity that exists within the people of God.
Tomorrow, we shall journey to the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus spent most of his ministry, among the people in that region. As always, keep us in prayer!
peace to you