Following Jesus in Galilee
We set off at 7:45am this morning(!) and headed for the lakeside. We boarded a boat to take us out onto the Sea of Galilee. It was cooler today and a bit cloudier, but this was welcome after the past few days of hot weather. We spent a while in silence, thinking about Jesus in the boat with the disciples, then we had a demonstration of how the disciples would have fished.
Back on land and time for a coffee break before we set off again. We climbed high up the hill to the Church of the beatitudes, where Jesus preached the Sermon on the mount. There was a magnificent view of the lake from this beautiful Church.
Back down the hill, we stopped at the Church of the Multiplication at Tabgha. This Church was subject to an arson attack last year. So sad.
The next Church just along the foreshore is St Peter’s Primacy, where Jesus forgave Peter for denying him and commissioned Peter to lead the Christian Church. Some of our group took the opportunity to have a paddle.
One more church before lunch – Capernaum. The old city has been excavated and a church built over the house where Peter’s mother-in-law lived. We saw the old synagogue and the layout of the city.
Everyone was ready for lunch – we stopped for a falafel sandwich and a drink at a nearby cafe.
In the afternoon we stopped at the Magdala Church. We heard the amazing story that the site was bought for a hotel. Prior to the building work, a survey was done to check for an archeological remains on the site. The old city of Magdala was discovered and, in particular, a synagogue dating from the 1st Century AD. It was really interesting.
The church, shown in the top picture is dedicated to women, such as Mary Magdalen. The Churchwas stunning. We had arranged to celebrate the eucharist in this lovely Church. However, when they discovered that our priest was a woman, we were rejected – quite ironic.
It seems that God moves in this land in a special way. A few hours previously, Rev Kate Reynolds of the Church of Scotland, had visited Magdala Church. She had left her card saying that if any group would like to come and worship in her church in Tiberius, they would be welcome. And just a few hours after, here we were needing a church. We rang her and she welcomed us to celebrate our final Eucharist in her church, just a short walk from our hotel. Is that not amazing!
Back to the hotel for a briefing about the airport security process, then packing and a final celebration before we leave at 8am in the morning.