I'm sitting on a patio with four pastor friends talking about my church and missing you all...OVERLOOKING THE SEA OF GALILEE! What a surreal experience...again. Today was my favorite day...away from the clutter of the religious clutter and lots of ancient artifacts and archeology. Went to Caesarea - place King Herod built. Where Peter preached to and converted Cornelius (first Gentile convert). Saw the theatre and hippodrome there..awesome. Stood on the floor of the governor's palace (think Pontius Pilate's residence when not in Jerusalem) where Felix (during the life of Paul) was governor and held a trial for Paul. Where Paul appealed to Caesar! Very cool to stand in this biblical place.
Then, we went to Meggido and saw the palace and stables of Solomon (I mean I touched a 1,000 BC horse trough cut out of stone) and his palace with a view to the Galilee mountains and Nazareth. Also went down into an underground tunnel made by king Ahab to access the spring of the city during sieges. Amazing stuff...really humbling.
Finally, we made it to nazareth and the place where Jesus was raised and where the angel appeared to Mary to tell her that Jesus was going to be born! It has a cathedral over the top of mary's supposed house, which is over a crusade church (1100 ad). It may not be her house, but it was a small town (think 500 or less) and we saw remains from that period ...so i may have seen at least a stone that was on the house where mary heard _ "you are highly favored...". That is amazing connections with my christian past.
tomorrow while the people I love are worshiping in normal, I'll be having a worship service on a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee. God bless.