PESM to Israel 2022-Panoramic Views, Mosaics and a 1st Century Village
Hello Friends and Family!
Wow! What a day we have had. Each day is so full and wonderful, we have to stop and think through all the things we saw and did at the end of the day. Everyone is finding their own way to 'squeeze the sponge', our metaphor for processing all the wonderful things we are taking in. Some are journaling, others talking and sharing over dinner and bus rides, some just sit by themselves for awhile, letting it all sink in. We are each trying to filter and process each day's sites so that God can use it all for many years to come.
Today we went back to Lower Galilee, towards the coast and away from the Sea, to see Zippori (Sepphoris) a Roman/Jewish city from the time of Jesus. There was a cool aqueduct, as well as some later mosaics that were fascinating. It was a beautiful morning to explore an off the beaten path site that doesn't usually get explored on trips to the Holy Land.
(The Aqueduct of Zippori: photo courtesy of Heather Carmichael)
(fascinating aqueduct at Zippori: photo courtesy of Jeremiah Duncan)
(ampitheater at Zippori: photo courtesy of Jeremiah Duncan)
(The Mona Lisa of the Sea of Galilee, one of many mosaics at Zippori: Photo Courtesy of Ryan Thorson)
(Byzantine pottery and marketplace at Zippori: Photo courtesy of Ryan Thorson)
After Zippori we headed over to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah battled the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18. Our group re-enacted the event, which was pretty fun to do and watch! Then we enjoyed the panoramic view from the Mediterranean Sea over the Jezreel Valley.
(statue of Elijah and prophet of Baal at Mt. Carmel: photo courtesy of Heather Carmichael)
(View of the Jezreel valley from Mt. Carmel: photo courtesy of Heather Carmichael)
But the highlight of the day for most of us was the Nazareth Village. The current city of Nazareth is a bustling, modern metropolis, so it can be hard to see any sites from the 1st century as the village would have been during Jesus' time. So, a group of protestant churches in Nazareth were donated some land and have recreated a 1st century village full with actors and practices from the 1st century, complete with roosters and donkeys, as you'll see from the pictures below. You can find out more about it here.
At the village, so many of the metaphors, parables and teachings of Jesus came to life when we could visually see and understand the stories, activities and people that would have shaped his upbringing. It was fantastic!
(a vineyard in Nazareth Village: photo courtesy of Ryan Thorson)
(farmer in Nazareth Village: photo courtesy of Jeremiah Duncan)
(A Rooster in Nazareth Village: photo courtesy of Jeremiah Duncan)
(A donkey in Nazareth village: photo courtesy of Jeremiah Duncan)
(A carpenter at work in Nazareth: photo courtesy of Megan Teune)
(The first century winepress of Nazareth: photo courtesy of Megan Teune)
(hearing a sermon in the Nazareth Synagogue: photo courtesy of Megan Teune)
(A weaver in Nazareth Village: Photo courtesy of Megan Teune)
We finished our day of touring with a stop at a Mount outside of Nazareth overlooking so much of Upper Israel. It was a great visual summary of so many biblical stories and all that we had seen the day.
(Matt Eckhardt standing on the Mount Precipice with Jezreel Valley behind: photo courtesy of Ryan Thorson)
(Our swimming area on the Sea of Galilee)
We arrived back at our spot on the Sea in time for some of us to swim in the Sea of Galilee and enjoy a Sabbath celebration for dinner. We are all tired, but in the very best way!