Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Around Galilee

Today we have celebrated Christ's lakeside ministry. The pilgrims all assembled to celebrate the Eucharist by the lake in the almost open air. It is a fantastic spot and a privilege to preach on the calling of the early disciples. I was struck preparing by the move of Simon Peter from the shallow water to the deep, and all that he was prepared to give up to follow Jesus even when he had just made the most lucrative catch he had ever had in his life. We moved on to the church of the multiplication. With its fantastic mosaics of loaves and fishes, as well as cartoon type ducks (or geese). The pilgrims followed in the footsteps of our Lord from there to the Mount of the Beatitudes, which although full of pilgrim and tourist groups, was enhanced by the most beautiful flowers and birdsong. This really is a good time to visit. With two bishop's on board, the archdeacon herded up from the rear - and spent the rest of the day doing the domestics. Tips, service sheets and readers. She got some interesting looks to throughout the day as women priests are still something of a rarity (or novelty ). We set out on the Lake just before midday, and enjoyed some stillness away from the shore. It was calm and still and wonderful to just enjoy the views and the peace. Lunch was fish (surprise surprise) and then onto the Church commemorating Peter's restoration on the shore. The highlight for me of the day as we had the place to ourselves and it was quite restful as the Sea lapped the shore. Pilgrims paddled. Finally we visited Capernaum, which was interrupted a bit by diggers and builders but memorable nonetheless. Now for some rest before dinner, although it is hard to get the pilgrims away from the water - a number have now decided to go for a swim. And we don't celebrate baptism until tomorrow!

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