Feb 15, 2012

Day 1 in Israel

Had a fantastic day in Israel. The highlight of the day was leading a service of reaffirmation of vows with the couples from LCOP at the Church of the Wedding in Cana. The only thing that would have made it better is to have had my wife with me.

This was the view from my hotel balcony. What a fantastic way to start the day!
The Sea of Galilee

Another view of Galilee
As we were getting on the bus, I noticed a sign that I had to take a picture of.
A sign in front of the hotel
Our tour bus
The first stop of the day was Mt. Tabor, one of the traditional sites for the Transfiguration. While we were waiting for shuttles to take us to the top of the mountain, there was a little stand, where for $2.50, they would make freshly squeezed pomegranate juice.

Once atop the mountain, you can see the commanding view of the Jezreel Valley down below.
View of Nazareth in the distance
The second stop was the town of Nazareth. While Nazareth is a bustling city of almost 80,000 people today, during the days of Jesus, the village of Jesus was at best 200 of his kinfolk. The entire village proper of Jesus' Nazareth would have fit within the compounds of the Church of the Annunciation.

Church of the Annunciation

The third stop of the day was at Mt. Precipice where the people of Nazareth took Jesus in order to throw him off the cliff top. First sermons are notorious for both the preacher and the congregation. But no one's first sermon could have gone as bad as Jesus' first sermon - after his first sermon, the people in the town of Nazareth wanted to kill him!
Rick and I standing on the cliff of Mt. Precipice where the people of Nazareth were going to throw Jesus off the cliff after his first sermon

Cliff drop

That's Mt. Tabor in the distance seen from Mt. Precipice

The people who made this sign didn't read their Bible. They took some editorial liberty in claiming Jesus leapt off this mountain.
As we were going back to the bus, our tour guide showed us what a mandrake plant looks like.
A Mandrake plant. Learned today that it's an aphrodisiac
The fourth stop was Nazareth Village where we had a biblical style lunch. Nazareth Village is a modern day re-creation of what a typical village would have looked like during the days of Jesus.

The fifth stop was Cana, the site of the first sign/miracle of Jesus and the Church of the Wedding where our married couples were able to renew their wedding vows in the place where Jesus blessed the covenant of marriage.
Mary's Grotto where angel Gabriel made his announcement about the birth of Jesus to Mary

Mary's grotto

A sign near the church of the Annunciation put up by the Muslims

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