A Travellerspoint blog

Day 6

Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes and Magdala

I hardly know where to start today.

This is a pilgrimage, not a tour and as such, my hope/expectation is that God will speak and change my heart.

Awake just after 5:00 am, I watched the sun rise over the Sea of Galilee and it was spectacular!

We started the day at a place on the shore of the Sea of Galilee where the disciples had been fishing all night and caught nothing. Jesus tells them to cast their nets on the other side and they can hardly pull in the fish. Jesus asks Peter three times, ‘Do you love me?’ You can hear the same words of Jesus in your own heart.

Opposite where we stood is the place where Jesus cast the demons into the herd of pigs.

From here we head to Capernaum and I read the passage from Luke 4:31-41 to the group. As I stood there reading in the synagogue, all I could think of was when Jesus went into the synagogue and read from the scroll, ‘The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the good news.’ A truly unique and special experience.

Capernaum was a place of ordinary people. Jesus lived among the ordinary people. A challenge to us all, to remain grounded and to be an ordinary person, serving an extraordinary God.

Our guide talked about the significance of the palm branches and how they represent royalty and independence. How significant when you consider that the crowds threw palm branches down as Jesus rode into Jerusalem.

Also at this site was the house of Peter’s mother-in-law. A group were in the church above this site and they began to sing ‘Here I am Lord’. It was spine tingling beautiful.

Next stop, a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. This was quite an emotional time for me, as we sat in a boat on the water where Jesus and His disciples spent time together. As we boarded the boat, ‘It is well’ was playing. For those who know the history of the hymn, possibly not the best choice of song. However, my mind went to the second verse, ‘My sin, o the bliss of this glorious thought, My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more. Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord o my soul.’

There is no tradition, or legend. Jesus and the disciples actually sailed on the Sea of Galilee.

We sang the beautiful song, ‘Be still for the presence of the Lord’, and I found myself with tears rolling down my face as I am constantly challenged these days to Be Still...and let God do His thing, without my interfering.

Another song that came to me was ‘Speak Lord in the stillness, while I wait for Thee, touch my heart to listen with expectancy.’ Stillness does not come easily to me...perhaps there is a theme here!

Our tour leader, Nancy spoke of Jesus road from the Sea of Galilee to Jerusalem. As pilgrims we are on the same road, not only on this pilgrimage, but in life. Perhaps it is time to read The Calvary Road again.

A whole tilapia (fish) for lunch was perfect! There is a lot of salad and not much on the gluten free front, other than salad, fruit and some fish. As such, protein becomes much more important. The food is amazing and we have not gone hungry.

Sitting at lunch with a different group of people to the group from breakfast, I was delighted when one couple thought I was 28-30 years old. On the one hand I am pleased not to be 28-30 again, but on the other hand it is nice to know that I don’t look as old as I feel some days and as old as I am.

After lunch, we headed to the church built to commemorate the feeding of the 5,000.

Our next stop was the Mount of Beatitudes. You can imagine Jesus standing on the hillside speaking to the crowds. We sang ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus’ in the Chapel and it was just beautiful. The acoustics were amazing!

Our last stop for the day was Magdala. The place of Mary Magdalene where the archaeological finds are quite amazing. A Catholic Order have provided funds for the development of a beautiful church. When you step inside to the basement Chapel, there is a painting, depicting the scene where Mary Magdalene touches the hem of Jesus’ garment. I had an overwhelming sense of the compassion of Jesus in this moment. Here was an unclean woman who touched Jesus, not only a man, but the son of God. And, this same Jesus reaches out to each one of us.

I am so pleased that I have taken the time for this pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Posted by Cruicksie 09:53

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What a beautiful day, so much to experience and you have so eloquently shared. I join with you in the prayer that the living God will shape you and affirm you in these days. I can’t wait to see some photos.

by StevoT

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