When we arrived at the airport in Israel, we gathered our luggage, made our way through customs, and then hopped on a bus for a 90 minute drive to our hotel, which sits on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. After checking in to our hotel, we were served dinner, and then made our way down to the Sea of Galilee as the sun was setting. As I stood there looking out over the water, it was one of the most surreal moments of my life as my mind began to recount all of the incredible things that had happened out on the water that I was gazing upon. I thought about Jesus telling Peter and the gang to drop their nets on the other side of the boat and they hulled in a massive amount of fish. I thought about the time when Jesus was sleeping on the boat as the disciples made their way to the other side and a storm came upon them quickly and they shouted for Jesus to save them and he stood up and told the wind and waves to calm down and they did. I looked out over the water that Jesus walked upon, that Peter walked upon (even if for just a few steps). All of that to say, as my mind recounted the many events that took place right here, my heart lept with joy that I KNOW Him and He KNOWS me!!! My heart also began beating with a sense of anticipation and excitement that God was going to do something great in my heart and my life over the next two weeks.
This evening, the group of 21 pastors that I get to journey with over the next two weeks, came together for worship and to share communion. It was a powerful time and brother Tom Jones gave each of us a Jerusalem cross necklace to wear around our necks on this pilgrimage, as an outward sign of our journey and inward reminder that Jesus is with us. Then brother Kevin Haah anointed us with oil and prayed over us that “we may experience the sweet presence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit through out this journey.”
I’ll end with the prayer that Tom shared after communion.
In this sacrament (communion) you profoundly touch our lives.
May our communion teach us to love heaven,
and may its promise and hope guide our way on earth.
May your love remain alive in our hearts,
And transform us by this mystery we celebrate.
We ask this in the name of Jesus The Lord. Amen
It appears perhaps that we will have more access to internet than we first anticipated here in Galilee so check back each day for new blog posts.