Friday, July 06, 2007

Day 2

Nazareth is interesting in that it is home to 35,000 Jews, 35,000 Christian Arabs and 35,000 Muslims and they all co-exist peacefully.

Today we went;
-for a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.
-to the place where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount.
-the church where he turned water into wine.
-where he had his last meal with the disciples.
-the place where he asked Peter did he love him.

Some people seemed affected but I didn't have any warm, fuzzy, spiritual experiences in any of these except in the beautiful scenery and landscape. However, it does provide a visual idea of the gospel stories. Standing at the Sea of Galilee it was easy to imagine Jesus standing with his mate Peter and asking him did he really love him.

We visited all these old sights and had 3 lectures today. Despite this my epiphany came from a conversation with an old Jewish lady. She had visited Belfast so we had common ground. She told me about the suicide bombs and murders of men, women and children before her eyes. Her stories gave me a feeling for the first time for the hurt that has been caused to the Jews by Palestinians. I know I will see the other side too.

Lectures are very pro-Israel Zionist. The guy tonight asked every one to put up their hands if they were a Christian Zionist and I was the only one that didn't. My heads is wrecked trying to sift through all the words and find find some black and white in the grey. Actually colour would be better, it gets depressing. I try to explain to people that I could take them to either side in Ireland and tell them of atrocities by the other side and convince them those they are with are in the right. As far as I can see in two days there is much evil and much good in the actions of Christians, Jew and Muslim in this region.

I'm going to find some colour.

Sea of Galilee

Where Jesus asked Peter did he love him (allegedly).

Church of the Beatitudes (Where Srmon on the Mount took place (allegedly!))


indya said...

SHAMELESS PLUG (but for a good cause!)...

Please go read my blog- I've written about PIPS Project, an initiative set up 4 years ago in North Belfast for the prevention of suicide and self-harm in Northern Ireland. I want you to help raise awareness/give money!!!

The work they are doing is amazing and in huge demand all over Ireland, it's really making a difference and it's worth finding out more.


I'm sure you're experiencing a lot of new things out there, thanks for letting us in on some of it. God bless you.

love indya

Anonymous said...

cool, all sounds amazing. keep going

Jen said...

It's great to see and hear your journey, I'm being educated whilst stuck at home! Mum and dad took us all to Israel and Egypt, but neither of them are Christians, so it was a site seeing trip and I was a little too young to really enter into the politics behind the problems.

Anonymous said...

Your story about the Jewish woman makes me think of something Shane Clairborne says in his book...: "Issues? These issues have faces."
You are seeing the faces. It is the individual stories that will touch you - and us, as you tell them - and make it increasingly difficult to give glib answers about a complex situation.


The Wee Italian Chick said...

The last picture reminds me of my time in Israel - always upsets me how people have turned Jesus' message of love into war, violence, pride..keep on observing, John and keep on challenging us with what you see.

Ellen Wright said...

i can't believe you have left already, i am shocked. i feel like our brother/sister relationship is slowly evaporating and i don't like it. praying for you brother.

davymull said...

yo bro. great to hear updates. pretty jealous to be honest. looking forward to reading more and hearing your thoughts when u back.

davymull said...

yo bro. great to hear updates. pretty jealous to be honest. looking forward to reading more and hearing your thoughts when u back.

Anonymous said...

Leading the way John...
That's what your doing.
You inspire many. God Bless.