Friday, March 7, 2014

Sea of Galilee Wanderings

The Sea of Galilee from the Nof Ginosar kibbutz shore

I am not sure just what I expected
 with our visit to the Holy Land.
Perhaps to confirm some small piece of history
 and connecting it to sacred writings
 would have been easy and simple. 
To confirm what I already knew.
 I was not prepared for what really happened in Israel:
the confirmation of how much I really did not know.
 Faith yes- that has always been there---
but what arose was a yearning to see not only the
 but to savor the small details.
So, I suppose this is a dangerous place to acknowledge
 that I have some woefully big gaps in my
Biblical Literacy.
 But, stating that fact, 
I can then say that this Lenten journey
 is not so much stating what I already
know about the Holy Land,
 but delving into new gleanings in new territory.

Early morning boat ride on the Sea of Galillee

a Bigger body of water than I had imagined
Fishermen already in from their very early treks onto the water

Daniel Carmel- 
boat owner and worship leader for our boat ride
A powerful testimony for Holy Spirit work
 in the heart of a Jewish person
Daniel showing us how to throw the nets

Here the Mark 1 story comes alive- 
watching the flinging of the nets into the water,
 picturing the challenging life of a fisherman.
Seeing how teamwork made all the difference.
Thinking about real men called to "Follow Me."
Peter, Andrew, James and John.

                                                                                                                                   photo by jdenninger

The Sea of Galilee is also called the Lake of Gennesaret, 
or Kinneret,  which means "harp" in Hebrew.
 It is about 33 miles in circumference
 and its maximum depth is 150 feet.
Though called a sea, it is really an oblong lake.
14 miles long and 7 1/2 miles wide at is broadest point.
There are 22 species of fish in the lake.
It is thought that during the First Century AD, 
there were at least 16 harbors around the lake.
 The harbor of Gadara on the SE corner was the largest.
The Sea of Galilee, at 650 feet below sea level,
 is the lowest freshwater lake on earth.
The lake is partially fed by underground springs,
 but its main source is the Upper Jordan River-
originating near Mt. Hermon in the north
 flowing in to the lake. 

                                                                                                                                   photo by jdenninger

According to Josephus, the Jewish historian,
 over 200 small towns and villages
 dotted the landscape in Jesus' day. 
Crowds of people followed Jesus everywhere.
I suppose I pictured modern day cities
 along the shoreline
 and hotels grabbing a piece of prime real estate.

the same mountain outline across the horizon
 that Jesus saw as He set foot on the shore.
the same notched edge on the mountain side.

Maybe the natural preservationists
 have worked overtime to preserve the view.
When we asked a local (not sure if he was Christian or not)
he simply stated- "But, this is a sacred lake."

Perhaps, a small tug at my heart-
 that a few more things need to be held sacred.

I will be using these books to help tell the story-

There is sometimes a bit of discrepancy
 in the accounts (facts) of these books-
 and I will try to use the most commonly accepted-
(in my limited knowledge base.)
Right now we have massive files of 100's of photos
that John and I took- kind of all smooched together.
His photographs are generally always better than mine-
 and I will try to give credit to him as photographer-
 when I know it is one of his photos.

Thank you for joining this journey
 to the HOLY LAND this LENT.

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