Galilee-ward today… We will be staying in En Gev for the next couple of days,I think we are all pretty excited.
Before we can go to En Gev we have a day filled with adventure. We started our day off over looking the Jezreel Valley. The lookout point is right outside of Nazareth so we had a fantastic view and spent some time telling Bible Stories. The land is so rich with stories of the past, both biblical and historical, so over looking the land while telling these stories brings so much life to them.
Our next stop of the day was the Church of Annunciation. This is thought to be the location of Mary having the angle come to her. The bottom of the church has a grotto that represents her place of dwelling. The church is surrounded by pieces of art by a multitude of countries depicting Mary. It is interesting to see the diverse perspectives within the countries who hold the same, or similar traditions.
Our next destination was Sepphoris or Zippori. This site has many important possibilities into the life of Jesus. We sat around the site and discussed the Bible for awhile and tried to uncover different aspects of Jesus’ younger life that led to his adulthood.
It is so interesting to learn about cities that were around during Jesus’ time but not specifically mentioned in the Bible. It gives a lot of insight into the diversity of the land during his lifetime, between Jews and Gentiles. At this sight there was a lot to uncover. It has features that date back to the time of Jesus but also features of how the city may have looked and how people lived after the time of Jesus. There were a multitude of mosaics that were uncovered in churches. Due to the finds in the area it was thought to be a Jewish site, but the mosaics reveal a different side of the story to us. They were filled with pagan gods. Scholars have come up with different arguments as to why the pagan gods would be represented in such places, even a synagogue. As a class we got to look at different idea’s and even pull out scripture to try and uncover why the gods may have been there.
Our last stop of the day was the water system at Sepphoris, I went through parts of them but the tunnels did not suit me well so I returned to the bus…small dark places do not go well with me. The bigger tunnels were fun to roam around in.
We parked it for the night at En Gev, a beautiful resort right off the shore of the Sea of Galilee for a peaceful nights rest…