Day 4 - 2/18 Thursday: Sea of Galilee, Caesarea Philippi, Capernaum and Jordon River
Today was a marvelous day around the Sea of Galilee area. Immediately after breakfast at our Kibbutz Hotel we enjoyed an hour-long boat ride on the lake. We paused to read scriptures that took place on and around the sea. We prayed and enjoyed the quietness, sang songs, took a group picture. Most notably we considered the "peace - be still" Christ gives us in our "storms" of life. After docking we went next door to Nof Ginnosar, the museum home of the "Jesus Boat" found in 1986. This 1st century boat was intriguing to see, given that it was no doubt the type of boat the disciples used.
Next we headed to Caesarea Philippi, traveling through the Golan Heights to the very north of Israel at the foot of snow covered Mt. Hermon. Here we discussed Christ asking Peter and the disciples "Who do people say I am and who do you say I am" while in this pagan community know in those days as the Gates of Hades.
We lunched at the very north end of the Sea at St. Peter's Restaurant and some even tried the St. Peter dish of whole fish and potatoes. Driving to the NW shoreline of the lake, Capernaum was our next visit. This was the hometown of Jesus. While sitting at the 1st and 4th century synagogue, we read from the gospels, focusing on Jesus "smekah" (authority) in his radical teaching, healing, and forgiving of sins. The traditional "house of Peter" is also located here where Jesus healed Peter's mother. Capernaum was a crossroads of the world and as Jesus taught, the Good News (Gospel) spread and spread. We hope to continue the same when we come home from this amazing adventure.
Located on the southern end of the lake is Yardenit, our next stop. Here, more than half of the group were baptized in the Jordan River, reaffirming their faith and commitment. Although the water was cool - the experience is one never to be forgotten and certainly warmed our hearts.
We finished the day back at out hotel for dinner and then a bit of quite time under the stars at the beach discussing the events of the day. The general question was "is it possible that today was the highlight of the trip?" We shall see!