Galilee is much quieter than Jerusalem. And after having been in Jerusalem, it was easy to compare the two regions and realize why Jesus decided to spend most of His time up North. (And, in the time of Christ, Jerusalem would have been even more tension-filled for Him, as so many people were trying to kill Him.)
So Galilee would have been a welcome place to live and rest. It certainly was a nice respite for us.
As we drove north up to Galilee, we stopped at different sites along the way, including Jaffa, Caesarea (and later Caesarea Philippi), Mt. Carmel, Nazareth, and Mt. Tabor. Each has scriptural significance, and it was neat to share thoughts about those places and scripture stories.
[Mt. Carmel--where it was Elijah vs. the Priests of Baal. I kept singing Mendelssohn's Elijah to myself while we were there. Also, the story of Elijah is one of my favorites in the Bible. #funfact]
[Also a fun fact: from the top of Mt. Carmel, you can see the Valley of Megiddo, AKA, the Valley of Armageddon. It's quite a stunning view.]
[Overlooking the end of the world]
[This is so embarrassing, but now I cannot remember what church this was. I think it was Joseph's church in Nazareth. But I could be completely wrong. In any event, it's a very pretty church.]
[But this is from the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. A lot of countries sent mosaics honoring Mary. This one is from Ukraine, and I think it's absolutely lovely.]
[At Mt. Tabor--a traditional site for the Mt. of Transfiguration]
[Inside the Church of the Mt. of Transfiguration]
[And the view from the top]
When we got to Tiberius, it was so cool to be able to go to so many different sites where Jesus would have been. Capernaum, Magdala, and the Sea of Galilee itself. I always assumed that most of His ministries and miracles took place in Jerusalem, but most of them took place up north. Most of His ministry was in the Galilee region. And so it was neat to realize that and realize that we were literally in a land of miracles.
[The Valley of the Doves--a highway between Nazareth and Capernaum]
[St. Peter's Primacy. This is the site where Catholics believe Peter became the first pope. While we were here, we listened to Elder Holland's talk, "The First Great Commandment," which is one of my favorite talks. It was such a peaceful place to sit, ponder, and remember the commitments I have made to be a disciple of Christ. And to recommit to being a disciple of Christ.]
[Mount of Beatitudes. I loved this church.]
[Banyan Tree at the Greek Orthodox Capernaum site]
[Soooo, this Greek Orthodox Church was one of the prettiest churches I've ever seen in my life.]
[Just look at those paintings. They are depicting all of the miracles that happened in the Galilee area.]
[The archaeological site of Magdala (where Mary Magdalene was from)]
[I also loved this church. It is dedicated to women of the New Testament, and there are pillars with names of women in the New Testament. The last pillar is blank, and women that visit there are supposed to trace their name on the pillar.]
[I also loved the name of the church, which was "Duc in Altum," which means "Come to the deep" in Latin. I just love the symbolism of it--come to the deep, come out of your comfort zone, and come to Christ.]
[At Casearea Philippi]
[Headwaters of the Jordan River]
[It looked like something out of Lord of the Rings]
[But really. It really did.]
One of my favorite parts of Galilee was the Sea of Galilee. It was fun to swim in it, and to "swim where Jesus walked." (I still get a kick out of saying that.) It was also neat to remember the miracles that happened on the Sea of Galilee--from Jesus calming the storm to Peter walking on water. There's a lot of faith that has been shown on and around that lake in northern Israel, which is beautiful to think about.
[On a boat]
[Dani and I were happy to be in the water. Dani especially. But I was happy, too.]