We began our second day on the Galilee at the Church of the bBeatitudes built on the traditional site of the Sermon on the Mount which starts in Matthew 5. After walking through the church, we sat in the garden and had a time of reflection over our time in Israel.
Once we finished sharing with each other, we drove to Cana where Jesus performed the miracle of turning water in to wine. In Cana, we attended an Arab Israeli church service and got to hear the story of the pastor and his family and congregation. It was a blessing to worship with other believers and share a time of fellowship with these very hospitable people. We also got a sneak peak of their new church home currently undergoing renovations.
Our afternoon consisted of two stops; the first was Zippori believed to be Mary the mother of Jesus’ hometown.
Pictured on top is what a Roman triclinium, or living room may have looked like. The bottom photo is the tile mosaic floor of a triclinium at Zippori. The sides of the floor without tiles were where the three couches would have been placed.
Ruins of the neighborhood in Zippori (top) and a Mikva used by Jews for ritual cleansing (bottom).
A tile mosaic of “the Mona Lisa of the Galilee” located on the triclinium floor
Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac pictured on the synagogue floor
Our second afternoon stop was Nazareth where we toured the Church of the Annunciation and crashed a wedding.
The Church of the Annunciation was designed to honor Mary and her role as the mother of Jesus. However Jesus is at the top of the church’s facade as a reminder that he alone is Lord. Across the front is inscribed, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”
The upper level of the Church of the Annunciation that serves as an active community church. If you look closely, you can see there is a wedding ceremony taking place in the front.
Looking into the room where the annunciation took place.
The church was built around the room where is is believed Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her she was going to bear a son
One of my favorite parts of the church in Nazareth was pictures of Mary and Jesus given by Catholics from many different countries. Just a few are shown below and are yet another reminder of the global church we are a part of. Enjoy!
South Africa & Guatemala
Thailand, The Vatican, & Korea
Scotland, China, & El Salvador
The Slovak Republic, The Philippines, & Germany
Ireland, Ecuador, & Mexico
Wales, Sri Lanka, & the United States