A wise man once said, "Coming to the holy lands does not make the Bible come alive. It is already alive. Rather, it makes us come alive".
Spent four days in Galilee, took a final exam, am now finishing up a paper (well, should be . . .), and then we're off to Turkey tomorrow. Wow. It's like a whirlwind (or a wild windstorm on the Sea of Galilee, if you rather). : )
During the Galilee field study we stayed at En Gev, a resort on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, which the locals call the Chennerret. It was beautiful, and I loved the chance to swim in, and take a boat out on, the lake as Jesus often did.
I can feel the bonds between those in our group multiplying and deepening. A midnight starlit swim in the lake with a group of girls was so sweet, as well as those random deep conversations that arise . On our last night, we sang praises to God on the shore, and several group members really opened up with what was on their hearts. Beautiful.
I could go on and on about all the places we went these past few days - the cliffs we've climbed, trails we've hiked, ruins we've explored, but it all just left me speechless. Jesus saw that same horizon line (granted - things have changed since he saw it, but they were the same mountains and valleys). He walked in these places. His ministry was centered in this region. It brought me to tears. He came here. Willingly. Wanted to. So that his people might be redeemed. So I could be redeemed. At one point I stood on the shore of the lake and just prayed, "Well, God, here I am! I am so excited! It's just where you were. . ." and I was immediately hit with a response, "Yes, but you you know you didn't HAVE to come here. I will meet you where you are". I love that. It's not about this land, but what happened here, and the relationship I have with the LORD because of it. I am God's child, and He pursued me and saved me. I love that.
Alas, I will now return to my bag of pastries and half-written paper. Thanks for reading. God bless.