|Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth|
|Fishing Boat on the lake of Galilee|
On the other hand the very miraculous nature of the events pointed me to Jesus divinity. Just like the disciples in the boat after Jesus had calmed the storm on Galilee, I found myself thinking, "Who is this that even the wind and the waves obey him?" We drove by Cana where Jesus carried out his first miracle turning ordinary water into the best wine of the wedding. This picked up a theme of our sabbatical for me, "What miracle do I need Jesus to perform?"
|Door at the Church of the Annunciation|
Christians over the centuries have revered the holy sites we visited, often building churches there to remember the events. Some tourists are put off by the gaudy monuments and icons remembering what happened there. Certainly there is a danger of worshiping the place instead of the one who was at work there. However, overall I found it helpful to remember that these everyday places have in a sense been "set apart" (made holy) by the special events that occurred there. The door at the church of the annunciation depicts the life of Jesus, surrounded by the earlier events that prepared the way for this new relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
This pictorial telling of the Bible stories has been a common theme throughout the churches of the Holy land and Europe. In days gone by, many people couldn't read. Perhaps that will become more important for Bible stories again in cultures where people read books less and less.
|1st Century ruins at Capernaum & church over Peter's house|
|The site of the Sermon on the Mount near lake Galilee|