Holy Land: In the Galilee
We've been at the Sea of Galilee (or Lake TIberias) since we arrived on Tuesday. It's a very peaceful, relaxing place to begin our journey. A highlight is getting up in the morning, as Jesus did, while it is still dark and waiting for the sun to rise. As it comes up above the Golan Heights to the east, and the half moon is still bright, I'm reminded this is the same sunrise and the same lake Jesus awoke to. This was the setting for his early ministry where he called the disciples to follow him, where he taught and healed and walked.
We read the Sermon on the Mount on the grounds of the Church of the Beatitudes, asking God to give us a word or a verse we could make our own. Capernaum, where Jesus, Peter, Andrew, James and John lived, has intact foundations of first century homes, and the foundation of Peter's house, right on the lake. We visited the church dedicated to the multiplication of the loaves and fishes before heading west to Nazareth and Cana. Nazareth is where Jesus grew up "and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him." (Luke 2:40) We prayed for children by name in our family and church for the grace of God to be upon them. We ended our day at Cana, at the Wedding Church, and renewed our vows. After praying God's blessing on our children, we prayed God's blessing on our marriages, ranging from three years to fifty-one years!
I can't get over the fact that Jesus walked here, that God used the town of Nazareth to form wisdom in his heart that resulted in parables drawn from everyday life (vineyard, builder, sower, weaver, shepherd, etc…), that the sights are so close—within walking distance for Jesus, and that we can walk with him as we journey through the Holy Land.