Learning to be a disciple
Day 2 began with an incredible Sunday morning worship service on the Sea of Galilee (literally). We traveled on a boat to the middle where my good friend Mark Howard led us in a sweet time of singing and worship. Then, we looked carefully at Matthew 14 where Peter joins Jesus walking on the water. The Spirit was moving, and we all had meaningful times of rededication and commitment to embracing the storms of our lives. We now have a bright and joyful perspective concerning the goal during storms...ready to find Jesus walking over the top of the individual waves of our difficulty.
After seeing a really cool Jesus era fishing boat that was discovered and dug up out of the mud along the shore, we moved on to the site of the Beatitudes. The gift shop at this stop also has good ice cream. Reading from Scripture, talking about what a Jesus meant by "disciple", and a time of personal prayer led to our refocus as followers of Jesus. The group is learning more and more at each new site concerning the Hebrew Rabbi concept of the Talmid.
We had the chance to stop for lunch at a very cool restaurant where everyone had the chance to try St. Peter's fish from the Sea of Galilee. Then, staying within the triangle of Jesus' primary Galilean ministry area, we stoped for a lecture and wonderful lessson by our tour guide Susan at Peter's primacy. This is the traditional site celebrating Peter's restoration along the shore of the Sea of Galilee when Jesus asked him 3 times, "Peter, do you love me?" Susan taught us about the Hebrew concept of Tshuva which as to do with repentance and restoration. We all grabbed a small rock out of the water to take home commemorating our own personal issues of restoration with the Lord.
The Biblical site of Capernaum was another special stop for the group (although it was quite hot). They were courageous pilgrims braving the heat to see a 4th-5th century Synagogue that was built on some of the stones of the original synagogue where Jesus actually taught and worshipped. This is also the site of Peter's Mother-in-law's house, a 1st century olive press, and many many artifacts showing the culture and life of Jesus' home base for Galilean ministry. And, again...ice cream.
The last stop of the day was for baptisms in the Jordan River. Several people enjoyed a re-baptism as a celebration of what Jesus has done for them. My friend Lee Welch helped me perform the baptisms and distracted all the fish from nibbling on my feet (thanks Lee).