Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Galilee: my mini-pilgrimage

Two weekends ago two of my girlfriends and I took off for the 'Sea of Galilee' - or Lake Kinneret, as it is known to Israelis. There we got to walk in the footsteps of Jesus along the routes that are believed to be the beginning of his ministry. We bussed to Tiberias on Thursday night, found a hostel, and the next morning, got up and caught a cab (we hired a cab by the hour, he charged about 100 NIS an hour) to take us to the sites.

Our first stop was the Church of the Multiplication in Taghba. This rock (under the alter) is where it is believed that Jesus multiplied the bread and fish.
The inside of the church of the multiplication.
Each of the churches we go to are full of candles that have been lit by worshipers. I thought this 'sea' of tea light candles was captivating.
Our second stop was Capharnaum, the home of Peter, where Jesus stayed during a good part of the beginning of his ministry.

Of course, to honor Peter, there was a statue with the engraving of the verse that refers to the rock upon which Jesus would build his church:

These are the ruins of Capernum, like every ancient site in Israel, era after era has built upon the same spot, and ruins reflect this: Many of the ruins are from the Roman era.

These tiles are from the floor of the room in Peter's home in which it is believed that Jesus stayed.
In Capernum, we took a while to enjoy the view of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus (and Peter) walked on water.

The day that we went up the coast of the Sea of Galilee, the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, was closed, so we had to go back the next morning. This is the view from the mount: just unbelievably gorgeous. It was an incredibly peaceful and beautiful place, it is not hard to imagine it being chosen as the place where Jesus would have taught.

The church commemorating the Sermon on the Mount.

These are my faithful companions, K.C. and Katie. These girls are amazing and have added endlessly to my experience here. It has been such fun to travel with them. Katie's head is half cut off in this picture, which is ok because unfortunately she got incredibly ill an hour or so before this photo and actually had to end up staying in Tiberias an extra night. I am happy to report, however, that she survived. :)

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1 comment:

Victor said...

As I study more about Jesus, I remember and am reminded how close to nature he was and how he often used nature in his teachings and stories and also lived close to nature. It's cool to see the connection. Anna's father wants to go to the Mount of Beatitudes (is that the name?) to see the acoustics and how Jesus gave sermons to so many people in nature without a mic.

Hi, Katie and K.C.