Mount of Olives panorama

Mount of Olives panorama
A panoramic view of the Mount of Olives

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Sabbath in the Galilee

Galilee Day 6: Not Sunday but (11/19/11) . . .   As most of you who have been reading out blog know, the LDS Church holds services on Saturday in Israel proper (though our Palestinian members in Ramallah and Bethlehem meet on Sundays like other Christians).  So today, Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, was also our sabbath.

By the way, the Jerusalem Center sent our families up on a van Friday afternoon, so I have Elaine and the children with me this weekend!

Unfortunately, they are getting to enjoy particularly good weather while they are here in the Galilee.  It is now pretty much "winter" in the Holy Land, which means fairly cool, often rainy weather.  As we looked out the windows and sliding glass door this morning, it was gray and rainy.  Although it does not show up too much in still pictures, I did do a bit of a "Master the Tempest Is Raging" video clip!

This shot looks a lot more placid than it actually was

Perhaps this shot of the waves gives more of the "Master the Tempest Is Raging" feel!

The LDS branch here is in Tiberias, on the other side of the lake.  It meets in a lovely villa that overlooks the Sea of Galilee that has been converted into a meeting house.  However, dumping 82 students plus faculty and families into this small congregation does not work, so half the students went to church at the branch's normal meeting time this morning, and my students went over and had an extra service this afternoon.

We had a lovely sacrament meeting.  After the sacrament, the students provided the talks and the musical number.  I paid attention to the talks, but my eyes went often to the the floor-to-ceiling windows that looked out over the sea.  Since it is winter, it has been raining off and on most days, but it cleared up enough this afternoon to give us wonderful views.   I thought a lot about the time that Jesus spent around this lake.

On the balcony of the Tiberias Chapel

Samuel before church started

Not sure what is more gorgeous in this picture: the sea or the sky!

Capernaum is just off this picture to the right on the north end of the lake.

The quaint but beautifully-situated Tiberius Branch meeting house
On our way back to the kibbutz from Tiberias we stopped at Yardenit, a site that has been developed for Christian baptisms not far from where the Jordan River flows out of the Sea of Galilee.  Somewhere near the traditional site not far from Jericho is no doubt the more likely site, but this has long been a convenient, and beautiful, place for baptisms.  It was late and growing dark when we arrived, but I was glad we got to go there.  Samuel in particular seemed to like going down to the water at several places, and I was glad that I could teach him again about Jesus' baptism and remind him of his own last year.

Samuel sticking his finger in the water of the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized (though certainly not near here)
The account of Jesus' baptism from Mark (in Greek!)

A group of Christian pilgrims have a candle light service as dusk falls

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