Due to the availability of reliable Internet connections, Pastor Will's photos and comments will be posted to Facebook.
Today 11 am our time here - Reading from I Samuel about Saul and his sons at Beth Shean, a phenomenal archaeological site with a 6,000 year history.
Fallen column at Beth Shean from earthquake that destroyed the city on January 18, 749 AD
Floating in be Dead Sea!
Service at Yardenit at Jordan River remembering our baptism. “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.””
Our boat ride on the Galilee!
We didn't walk but we did dance on the Galilee!
L to R: Our guide Kobi, Lauren, me and Pr. Michael Weaver of All Saints Lutheran Church.
“One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.”
Pr. Mike Weaver and I on the boat
Unlike the children of Israel in the Bible we are traversing the Holy Land on a comfortable, air-conditioned bus! Our first full day together begins at the Sea of Galilee! On our way to Nazareth!
6 am at the Sea of Galilee!
“Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down.”
Matthew 15:29 NIV
Lauren reads Luke Chapter One for our group in Nazareth at the Church of the Annunciation.
“As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea — for they were fisherman. And he said to them, 'Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” (Mt. 1:18-20)
A highlight of our experience on the Sea of Galilee is stopping to enjoy a delicious meal featuring St. Peter’s fish. "This one certainly did not get away!"
“If at first you don’t succeed; Try, try again!” (Wm. Ed. Hickson, 1803-1870)
Our first day on the way to Israel and Jordan proved especially noteworthy. Our group was divided into two: those traveling only on the Israel portion of our pilgrimage and those also traveling to Jordan. The former left Columbus for Detroit earlier in the day while those of us in the latter group were to depart later from Columbus with all of us meeting in New York at JFK airport to continue to Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv. The operative words in that last sentence are “were to depart.” As it turns out, stormy weather in NYC changed our plans…..significantly. Our Detroit group’s flight to JFK was delayed and cancelled. However, since Detroit is an international hub, folks were put on flights to Frankfort and Munich, Germany to continue their journey to Israel. This was not to be for those of us who “were to depart” from Columbus to fly directly to JFK. We were instructed to return to the airport tomorrow (Wednesday) for another flight from Columbus that will take us to New York via Atlanta and eventually to Tel Aviv. One of our group returned to Dayton to fly from there. The weather’s “ripple effect” stranded two others from our group originating in Indianapolis.
So, as the great Scottish poet Robert Burns has said, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry!” Surely there is a lesson to be learned in this at the outset of our trip to the Holy Land, a lesson about disappointment, patience, cooperation, and being reminded that no matter how modern and "in control" we may perceive ourselves to be, the truth is we are not!
“The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lit up the world; the earth trembled and shook. Your way was through the sea, your path, through the mighty waters…..” (Psalm 27:18-19a).
An experienced traveller and guide to the Holy Lands, is leading this trip.
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Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
100 E Schrock Road
Westerville, OH 43081
Office Hours: 9am to 4:30pm M-Th
9am to noon Fri
p. (614) 882-3026
Our mission is to reach out with the love of Jesus to grow disciples and serve our community.
We envision Grace to be a welcoming Christ-centered community of faith, inviting all, growing in discipleship, sharing in ministries.