Footprints by the Sea
10.29.10 | Comments
The second full day in Israel was spent close to the shores of Galilee. This day we would truly walk where Jesus walked. The anticipation was bubbling as we climbed aboard the bus.
Our first stop was the traditional site where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount, The Mt. of Beatitudes. The site was beautiful with palm trees and flowering bushes, but I have to say that this was one site that I was a little disappointed in. People I knew who had been to Israel before told me how one person from their group stood at the bottom of the hill and recited some of the Beatitudes and the rest of the group heard him perfectly. Showing the wonderful acoustics of the place where Jesus chose to give this inspirational message to the crowd that gathered. But I didn't get to experience that. Our group was warned to "stay off the grass" because of all the scorpions. So we were limited to only certain areas. I will say that the view of the Sea of Galilee from this site was breathtaking!
The next two sites were from the pages of the New Testament. As we walked among the ruins of Korazin and Capernaum I imagined the city streets filled with people. I pictured feet, in sandals, kicking up dust and amazed faces that witnessed the miracles of Jesus. In my mind's eye, I saw Him laughing and talking with Peter and John. I saw Him bend over and pick up children and draw them into His lap. But the ruins told the rest of the story. They screamed of the woe that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 11:20-24. As I gazed at the remnants of the walls, rock and stone, I could almost hear Jesus say, "Woe to you." and "If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day."
Yardinet was on the itinerary for the afternoon. Some of us would get baptized or in my case, rededicated, in the Jordan River. This site was north of where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. There were nine in our group who made a decision to don robes and make a public declaration of our faith in Christ. Standing on the river bank, each one shared a testimony and then one by one stepped into the water to be baptized. I watched faces as we shared this experience together and could see evidence of the heart-link that was quickly forming.
But the day wasn't over yet. Bobbie and Doron had one more amazing experience for us to share, a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. We all climbed aboard and the crew of the ship played our national anthem as they raised an American flag. The wind and waves kicked in as the boat sailed out toward the center of the lake. And with tears in my eyes, I gazed at the shore. I saw mountains in the distance and realized that Jesus would have looked at the very same sight. I listened, almost expecting to hear the words, "Quiet! Be Still!" just like the disciples did so many years ago.
From the start of the day to the finish, emotions ran high. God's presence was felt as we took each step, as we walked in those very precious Footprints by the Sea.
Pictured below: Korazin, my baptism, raising the flag on the boat ride.
RECENT BLOG ENTRIES