Today we went and sailed on the Sea of Galilee. It was really cool and we stopped in the middle of the sea and talked about how the Sea of galilee is alive because it has fresh water running into it from the north and out of it from the south and the Dead sea is dead because it only has fresh water running into it and nothing running out. This sounds like the American church in many ways. When we got to shore we saw this boat that was like 2000 years old and had been preserved. It was pretty neat to see that, as it was the kind of boat that they used to use back then. We went to the place where Jesus gave the sermon on the mount and there are churches everywhere they think something might have happened. Place and location are a huge part of the theology here, I've been thinking about what that means a lot.
Just near this place, we went to where Jesus told peter to feed his sheep. This was a really neat place because there was a church built on the rock and part of it was inside and part was outside. It was also right by the water and it was very peaceful. This was one of the neatest places to me. Next, we went to Capernaum which was where Jesus spent a lot of his time. Peter's mother in law lived there and we saw the ruines of her house. It was really neat and big because she was rich. Peter sure knew how to pick em :-) The thing about all of these places and the places we see later is that there are ruines from lots of different times and people. So many different people have lived in this area, so there are remnants from all of them. You get to see things from OT time and Jesus time but also from when the Romans controlled it and so on. There were lots of pillars and headstones and stuff and it was really neat.
From here we travelled on the bus to the Jordan river. Some of us got in it and stuff, but it was really gross and there were tons of germs in it so you had to be really careful. Everything is marketed here so they say that certain places were actaully where things occured, but in reality it doesn't fit what we know. They are kind of symbolic places where things happened instead. Mike is a great guide and tells us about all of this so it makes sense. This is a great example. The place says that this is the place where Jesus was baptized, but in reality it had to be quite a bit south of there, closer to the Dead Sea. Nevertheless, it was a cool place and it was cool to see the river and what it was like around it.
After the Jordan River we went back to the hotel and attended a lecture. We had seen a bath house that we kept walking by so we decided to go after the lecture. A bunch of us and a few wives went to the bath house which was like 2 huge swimming pools filled by the hot springs there. It was supposed to have healing properties and I hope it healed athlete's foot from all of the people walking around that whole area in bare feet :-) It was obvious that lots of people used this facility and was even pretty crowded when we went. It did totally relax my muscles as I was pretty sore and that seemed to help it. One odd thing was that the changing room was co-ed. There were stalls for individual people to change in, but outside of the stalls by the lockers was just a huge mix of people. One observation was that the choice of swimwear in other countries greatly differs from the majority of people in the US. I'll leave it at that :-) This took many of us out of our comfort zone quite a bit, but it was a good time. Afterwards, a few of us went back to Galileo to see our friend again. We had a great talk and said goodbye because it was our last night there. We got his email address and he promised to visit us in New Mexico sometime when he comes to the States. When we walked out of there we heard some music, so a couple of us went to a dance club for a while and met lot of people, some of whom spoke english :-)
We went back to the hotel pretty late and had to get ready to leave in the morning.