The day began with a praise and worship service for all the tourists who are using the same travel agency we are (Journeys Unlimited). About 800 people with a praise band and several (too many actually IMHO) pastors speaking. I will let others in the group give you their opinions when you see them.
The venue was next to the museum of the boat where they have a 2000 year old fishing boat found in the mud of the Sea of Galilee when the water level was low. It is believed to be the type and size boat Jesus and the fishing disciples would have used on the lake. Pretty cool story of how they dug it out.
Next we went to Yardenit, a site on the Jordan River where you can get into the river, fill up water bottles to take home (I add a little bit to the font when I am doing baptisms), and they have places setup for groups who want to do baptisms. After I led renewal of baptismal bows with the whole group and prayed over the water, about 15 of us “Waded in the Water” for a renewal of our baptism by being submerged in the Jordan. It was absolutely AMAZING! You can see a lot of pics on Jennifer’s Facebook as I was a little busy baptizing people IN THE JORDAN RIVER and couldn’t take any pics. I did purchase a video of the whole thing so stay tuned! This was truly a holy experience. Here are some pics.
We then traveled to a Carmelite monastery on Mt. Carmel, built on the site of Elijah’s victory over the Baal prophets (1 King’s 18).
Last stop of the day was Nazareth and the breathtaking Church of the Annunciation. This is where Gabriel appeared to Mary and she said yes to God’s plan of salvation for us all! The church is so beautiful. We also visited the Orthodox Church built over Mary’s well, where, according to the proto gospel of James, Mary was when Gabriel first spoke to her, causing her to race home where Gabriel appeared again to driver the message.
Next to the Church of the Annunciation is St. Joseph’s church, dedicated to Jesus’ earthly father of course. Underneath is a grotto where they have excavated what was a home during Jesus’ time. The Holy Family is especially honored there. So grateful we had time to spend in both of these holy spaces.