Drew went out running early with Soren and Mindi and I went out walking which provided all of us with the most gorgeous sunrise over the Sea of Galilee.
Our first stop post breakfast was one of my favorites-perhaps because it was one of Jesus favorites and you can feel him there beyond the rocks.
Capernaum was thought to be the city in the area where they ground and made bread. This was the backdrop for the Bread of Life Sermon.
Peter and Andrew, James and John, Matthew, Jesus and so many of the disciples lived and fished and ate and learned right here in this city. The church took place in Peters home for years after the resurrection. Views of the ocean abound and peace speaks from the stones.
Some of the hard doctrine Jesus taught was given here(John 6-). We were reminded that for Christ to teach pure truth there can be no dissension. Cast out Satan so that real teaching can take place. Try not to promote dissection (devils advocate).
This group was in love with Drew and all wanted to talk pictures with him.
The Ark of the CovenantThoughts on the Sabbath from our Jewish friends:
To make sacred is to memorialize.
We still create on the sabbath, we create peace.
All the other days were made for this day.
The worst evil that can be achieved is to forget that we are a son or daughter of a king.
The Jews kept the Sabbath and the Sabbath kept the Jews.
Judaism believes that Moses was the last great prophet.
Next we raced off to Caesarea Phillipi and I was disappointed that we didn’t have more time there. I love this location where Peter got to share his testimony of Christ and where Christ taught them of the sealing power and that his church was to be built upon the rock of revelation and that revelation was to be as continuous as the waters that run though Banias.The symbolism of building on a rock could not have been lost on the disciples with the enormous rock of Mt Hermon in the background.
Following our dash to the waters of Banias we took CNN to a whole new level. Stopping at the Israeli/ Syrian border (in the scriptures they call the “coasts” borders) the kids ran through old trenches and climbed on tanks and then alarmingly watched smoke in the distance as we observed real time skirmishes between the different factions in Syria. A giant UN truck went racing by. Sobering.
Quietly we drove down the mountain back to the Galilee where on a lovely hillside overlooking the Sea of Galilee we read and pondered the Sermon on the Mount.
What would it have been like to be there at Christ’s feet and hear it all for the very first time? Drew and I have had fun listening to THE KINGDOM AND THE CROWN series because it has made so many of these events come to life for us in a new and fresh way.
Naturally I am a joyful person. I crave joy and happiness and seek to have it in my daily living. As a result of this I have fallen in love with the BEATTITUDES which literally mean “to be happy”. They are our roadmap to happiness and our blueprint to perfection. Every time I truly ponder on it I am floored by what I feel and am taught.
Here are some of my pondering as I was studying the night before- Christ wants to take us up to higher ground- up the mountain, but so often we choose to stay in the plains and do not follow him.
Blessed are the poor in spirit (WHAT LACK I YET?) WHO COME UNTO ME (It’s great to be humble and teachable, but in order to gain our heavenly realm we need to be humble and teachable AND have faith AND then we must take that to the Savior.)
Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted- Repentance- I need to mourn for my sins and weaknesses and mistakes each day and when I bring those to Christ in the form of repentance he can comfort me.
Blessed are the meek- this one was my favorite- Taylor and I have thought a lot about meekness and I have loved studying that meek is not weak but is controlled power, mildness of temper and the absence of wrath, but I loved adding to that foundation and adding that meekness is forgiving and not taking offense. Maxwell said that meekness is the real cure to selfishness. I am a naturally selfish person- motherhood has helped to root that out of me— I think I need to pray for and develop more meekness to make sure it does not sprout up.
Blessed are the merciful. I want Christ to judge me with such love and mercy- I must be quick to not judge harshly- to love swiftly and to assume the best of my children’s intentions.
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. I had a beautiful discussion with Drew and Jake and their peers a few weeks back on becoming refined. Refined metals are pure- all the excess, all the impurities have been burned out and eventually they are so clear and brilliant that they can reflect light- they can reflect the Savior in their eyes and countenance.
Blessed are the peacemakers- to be one with God is our goal- to be a Zion family is our goal- The key- peace. The key for oneness in the world- teaching people of the Prince Of Peace- missionary work.
Every night we go around the table and take turns telling the group 4 things:
How we were a “giver” (how we served)
And what we learned.
Taylor told me that he has done this with his room in the MTC each night but has added one more and he encouraged me to add it to our home dinner table too- How was I a missionary today?
Missionaries are peacemakers.
Then it talks about expecting some persecution and frustration from others when you choose to follow the Savior and then he tells us to REJOICE and to, in fact, become the salt of the earth. Here in Israel we are reminded that salt was essential in the Jewish temple. Salt was sprinkled on the temple ramp, it was included in all the animal sacrifices, there was a salt chamber in Herods temple and supposedly the Romans were once paid in salt (this is where the word sal-ary comes from). Salt is symbolic of covenants. We are to be like salt. Salt prevents decay and bacteria, it makes things last and it enhances flavor. Salt never “expires” it loses its savor only by being corrupted or mixed with another element. I must keep myself pure and unstained from sin.
There was so much more. I loved pondering it. I loved reading it on the Mount. I loved the sunset over the Sea of Galilee.