Around, Near, and On The Sea…

Hello friends . . . grace and peace,

too good not to share

too good not to share

After breakfast at the guest house in Nazareth, we left for the day’s adventures at 7:30 a.m., heading northeast toward the Sea of Galilee. The route took us through Cana and, of course, there was a First Miracle wine shop on the main street.

the women of our group, standing in a chapel and center dedicated to the woman who followed Jesus

the women of our group, standing in a chapel and center dedicated to the woman who followed Jesus

1st century synagogue at Magdala

1st century synagogue at Magdala

our group, learning in Magdala

our group, learning in Magdala

Our first stop was at the shore of the sea, where we visited the city of Magdala, which is where Mary Magdalene was from. Fr. Kamal Farah, our teacher, brought us to a center and chapel focused on the contributions of women in the Body of Christ.  All the women in our group gathered for a photo. Near the center was the evidence of excavation of a 1st century synagogue. It was first discovered only nine years ago.

The Church of the Beatitudes

The Church of the Beatitudes

front the front

front the front

the view of The Sea of Galilee from The Church of the Beatitudes

the view of The Sea of Galilee from The Church of the Beatitudes

Fr. Kamal, doing what he does best: teaching, and opening the scriptures

Fr. Kamal, doing what he does best: teaching, and opening the scriptures

We turned north along the west coast of the sea to a hill called the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus is believed to have delivered his Sermon on the Mount. We read the beatitudes at a small park there and Fr. Kamal provided us with a beautiful insight into Jesus’ longest recorded teaching. Kamal talked about the salt of the earth reference that is a metaphor for taste, preservation, and health. Then he said the light of the world metaphor tells us that, just as in a thunder storm, the light comes first, then the sound. He used the example of lightning being seen before the noise of thunder, pointing out that many humans fail to wait for the light (knowledge) before speaking.

IMG_1654

Church of the Multiplication

IMG_1664

inside the Multiplication Church

The next stop up the coast was at Tabgha, site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. It was also the fourth appearance of Jesus after the crucifixion.

fire damage to the Church of the Multiplication at the hands of Israeli students

fire damage to the Church of the Multiplication at the hands of Israeli students

more damage

more damage

IMG_1667

the following photos are on display at The Church of the Multiplication and they show the destruction both during and the morning after the terrorist attack by Israeli students

the following photos are on display at The Church of the Multiplication and they show the destruction both during and the morning after the terrorist attack by Israeli students

IMG_1659

IMG_1660

IMG_1661

IMG_1662

IMG_1663

This is also the site where, 3 months ago, the church was badly damaged by religious extremists (aka terrorists).  The group of 16 Israeli Jewish students responsible were arrested, but then released.

IMG_1685

yes Jesus was born in Bethlehem and he was raised in Nazareth, but he spent the vast majority of his ministry in and around Capernaum

IMG_1694

the synagogue in Capernaum where we read from John 6:53-59

IMG_1697

hearing the words of Jesus being read in the place where he said them . . . yeah

Peter's house. the archeological find is astounding because it contains evidence that this house was also used as a church, which would make it the first Christian church in the world. Ever.

Peter’s house. the archeological find is astounding because it contains evidence that this house was also used as a church, which would make it the first Christian church in the world. Ever.

the beautiful church build ABOVE the ruins of Peter's house

the beautiful church build ABOVE the ruins of Peter’s house

at the center of the church is a viewing space where you can look down into Peter's house

at the center of the church is a viewing space where you can look down into Peter’s house

Then to Capernaum, the city at the northwest corner of the sea where Jesus chose to do a lot of his public ministry. It is located close to the village of Bethsaida where apostles Peter, Andrew, James and John were from, and where he healed the slave of a Roman centurion. Ruins of the synagogue where Jesus preached were first discovered in 1866. Also found were the ruins of Peter’s house.

it's called St. Peter's fish by the locals but it's actually Tilapia . . . it was delicious!

it’s called St. Peter’s fish by the locals but it’s actually Tilapia . . . it was delicious!

We had a late lunch south of Capernaum in a seaside restaurant, most of us eating the fried tilapia that was served with head and all.

a boat, like the one we rode upon

a boat, like the one we rode upon

IMG_1724

it was a beautiful evening

IMG_1726

together…

IMG_1725

on the Sea of Galilee

IMG_1731

getting scruffier by the minute

IMG_1730

Tony, meditating on our reading from Matthew 14:22-33

Bishara

Bishara

sunset over the Sea of Galilee

sunset over the Sea of Galilee

The sea had been pretty choppy in the morning so our guide, Bishara, made arrangements for us to go out on the sea is a wooden boat that afternoon when things had calmed. This is where Jesus walked to his disciples on water, and where he told them what side of the boat to fish. Fr. Ralph read the scripture passage (Matthew 8:22-33) and we all sat in meditative silence for several minutes.

nazareth traffic

It was time to return to Nazareth but the usual 45-minute journey took almost two hours because of the Nazareth traffic. Friday will be spent at Caesarea Philippi near the northern border where we’ll see the Jordan River springs, visit the Golan Heights and, finally, go to Mount Tabor, site of the Transfiguration, before returning to Nazareth for one more night.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…” – Psalm 122:6

Advertisements

One thought on “Around, Near, and On The Sea…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s