Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Galilee- Day 8

Monday, November 21
Jezreel Valley field trip day! First stop was the church at Nain. This marks the place where Christ raised the widow’s son from the dead. The church itself is pretty small and tucked away, but it’s a nice little way to commemorate this great miracle. We talked a lot as a class about the incredibly compassion that Christ had and how it always moved him to act. The scriptures always talk about Him being “moved with compassion” and how it served as a motivating force for many of His miracles. I’m so thankful that Jesus is the perfect example of love and compassion, and how it should motivate us to do good works and show loving kindness to each other everyday. Inside the church we sang “I am a Child of God,” and it was a really beautiful reminder of how much we are loved by our Heavenly Father and how we need to show that love to others through out actions. Our next stop was Meggido. The Hebrew name for this mountain is Har Meggido, which then gives us the word Armageddon. Meggido is the traditional place where the armies are to gather for the final battle of the world, as written in Revelations. It was an impressive area with some interesting ruins. We didn’t spend too terribly long there.

The next place we went was Mount Tabor, one of the traditional sites for the Mount of Transfiguration. I actually loved this site, which kind of surprised me! The beginning was a little rocky though. We had to take a bunch of taxi-vans up the mountain because our bus wouldn’t fit up the tight switchbacks. That’s always a good sign. Personally, I don’t think the vans were that much better at navigating the little roads. I still felt like I was going to careen off the cliff at every hairpin turn, and it didn’t help that our drivers were hardly paying attention to the driving. Maybe some people like that, I don’t know. Anyways, we finally made it up the mount, and the loveliest sight was there to meet us. The church of the Transfiguration is kept up by the Franciscans, and they also apparently have quite the green thumb, because the gardens there are beautiful. They have all of these different species of plants from all over the world, and the plants were a wonderful frame and complement for the church. We spent a lot of time there talking about the biblical account of the transfiguration, when Christ took Peter, James, and John up to the mount. I really enjoyed the discussion, and I’m constantly in awe of the faculty we are privileged to have here. Brother Harper is truly amazing and so knowledgeable. We asked him so many questions, and he pulls his answers from so many resources and his own opinions, and he is able to synthesize them into one beautiful, thought-provoking, and comprehensible response. Anyways, the church was really nice. I especially like the wooden rafter ceilings, and the way they were juxtaposed with the smooth, clean cream stone of the building. There was also incredible stained glass and mosaics.

The final stop of the day was Gan Ha-Shelosha which is a swimming hole! This water was much much warmer than the waterfall from the hike. No half-frozen muscles this time. It’s a spring-fed pool within this little rocky grotto, caves and all. It really was breathe-taking. The pool also fed into a waterfall that you could climb down to. I sat underneath it and had the best back massage ever. It was like one of those massage chairs on steroids, it was so nice. It was a nice little swim, and then we got hot chocolate and went back to the kibbutz.

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