Our morning cruise on the Sea of Galilee was a bit choppy, but still peaceful and reflective. It’s amazing what a few quiet moments on the Sea of Galilee can offer the spirit. We put out from shore to experience a change in perspective. With the choppy waters under us and the lake shore at a distance, we remembered that when the wind and waves threaten, Jesus the Lord of creation is with us and can be trusted in any situation (Mark 6:45-52).
Next, we saw a boat recovered from the mud of the Sea of Galilee. It dates to the first century AD, and its size and hull construction suggest that could be the kind of fishing boat used by Jesus and the disciples.
The Mount of Beatitudes has to be one of the richest settings on the Sea. The grounds and church there are kept by the Franciscans, and provide a very special spot to meditate on the new, kingdom perspective that Jesus brought to our lives and world in the Sermon on the Mount. Blessed was our group, for we saw new views today.
At Tabgha, we saw the place traditionally associated with the multiplication of the loaves and fish. In the church there (with beautiful mosaics from the early Christian period), we listened to a Catholic tourist group from Russia sing “Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore.” We recognized the tune, and they sang all the verses from memory! Great sound in that space.
After lunch on St. Peter’s fish, we visited the Valley of the Doves, where the Lord walked from Nazareth to Capernaum. It is part of the “Gospel Trail” hiking route, and we encountered and visited some young hikers walking the trail.
One last stop before the ride back to the hotel took us to Capernaum. At this site we get a good idea of homes in the first century. We are reminded of all the miracles that took place in these homes.
The day ended on Mt. Precipice, where the angry folk of Nazareth attempted to throw Jesus off the cliff (Luke 4:16-30). It’s a harrowing drop, but the view of the Jezreel Valley, Nazareth, Mt. Tabor, and the Hill of Moreh near dusk was breathtaking.
We prepare to celebrate wedding vows tomorrow at Cana, the covenant of baptism in the Jordan River, and God’s steadfast faithfulness to God’s promises at Jericho. We all thank the Lord for these days of blessings that we share together.