From the boat on the Sea of Galilee

From the boat on the Sea of Galilee

From Jonathan Bowman, rising junior at JMU: Today marks the second day of our journey to the Holy Land. The flight from Toronto lasted 12 hours. Not much sleep, but hey, we made it. Straight from the airport we hopped onto the bus and adventured to Caesarea—ruins that exhibited the deteriorated magnificence of the Roman Empire. The Romans imprisoned the Apostle Paul in Caesarea where he began and ended many of his missionary journeys and wrote multiple epistles. We explored the hippodrome (where the Romans entertained with chariot races) and dipped our feet into the Mediterranean Sea. After some relaxation and reflection at the hotel we returned to our rooms for a generally restful sleep.
Sunday
Bet’She’an. Primacy of Peter. Capernaum. Jesus thought, walked, and taught in these places, each centered around a body of water characterized by splendor. A place of miracles and healing. The Sea of Galilee. At Bet’She’an, Pete used the ruined city to remind us that these things of Earth will crash and crumble and collapse away. Are we going to store up treasures in this life or in the next?
We sailed over the Sea of Galilee on a wooden boat today. Mountains like fortresses surrounded us and a light haze masked the opposite shores. The wind whipped our hair against our faces. I treasured every moment. Our feet slipped across the round black volcanic rocks on the shores of the Sea of Galilee as we listened to the history of Peter and some of his mistakes. I was refreshed to hear the forgiveness Jesus pours out on a man who aggressively denies knowing Christ not once, but three times.
Most captivating was the synagogue of Capernaum. I sat on the floor where Jesus stirred His revolution. I tried to imagine what it must have been like to sit and listen to this man upset everything you have ever known to be true. Mercy, grace, love, strength, trust, forgiveness, courage. What radical terms!
We open our hearts and minds to what God has to say for us in the coming days.