Yesterday, we planned an ambitious day.
Our (overly) ambitious schedule for the day. We knew that going in, though, and were ready to adjust on the fly.
Magdala–beautiful city on the coast. Traditional home of Mary Magdalena, recent discovery of 1st century village and synagogue.
Everywhere we are planning to go today. (Didn’t all happen, but that’s okay!) Mosaic created in 2019.
The Magdala church “Duc In Altum” (“Launch into the Deep” from Luke 5:4) has four small chapels and two large chapels. The small chapels are named for the story portrayed in the mosaics in the alcoves in front of the altar. This is the “Fishers of Men” chapel.
“Fishers of Men” chapel Matt 4:18-20.
Detail of the Savior, Fishers of Men chapel, Duc In Altum.
“Walking on Water” chapel. Peter, reaching out to Christ for salvation. Matt 14:29-31.
Detail. I am so often Peter. “Oh, [me] of little faith!”
“Daughter of Jairus” chapel. Mark 5:41-42
Detail of the raising of Jarius’ daughter.
Detail of raising of Jarius’ daughter.
Mary Magdalene Chapel, Luke 8:1-2. I especially loved this mosaic, because the more I looked at it, the more the symbolism became obvious. Mary is surrounded with fallen, evil things–seven devils, snake, snarling dog. She is sinful, she has fallen, she is separated from God. And yet Christ is there, hand outstretched, ready to bring her back.
Main chapel (boat chapel) with a stunning view of the Sea of Galilee. The boat is the rostrum, with a microphone and all. My very favorite is the gorgeous green gneiss. The geologist in me fan-girled, the artist in me loved the flow and movement of the stone–so much like waves!
Isn’t this brilliant? I love this stone!
Hey, I have that lantern from Ikea!
The large “Encounter” chapel on the bottom floor, with the original 1st century flooring “on which visitors can walk in Magdala’s ancient port marketplace.” This painting, “The Encounter” is huge and gorgeous. I love the detail, the spark when she touches His robe.
They actually allowed us to enter one of the Chapels, close the glass doors, and have our own devotional. It was so awesome. We talked about the God of the Fourth Hour, we talked about tired Simon Peter and his following of the Savior, and we bore testimony. It was lovely, comfortable, air-conditioned, and shady–which made it more possible to concentrate on the Spirit and the words being spoken.
Pebbly beach on the Sea of Galilee, Magdala.
First Century synagogue, Magdala.
The Magdala Stone! Found in 2019 when the synagogue and ruins were being excavated, this is the oldest known artistic depiction of the Second Temple. There is a menorah carved into the stone–the oldest carved image of the Second Temple menorah. It was found in the center of the synagogue.
First century synagogue, Magdala. You can see the “Magdala Stone” (replica, the original is in a glass case just behind where I’m standing) in the center middle back.
Replica of the Magdala Stone, where it was found, plus mosaics of the rosette (meaning/significance unknown at this time)
After Magdala, we tried to visit the boat museum (language barrier, we don’t know why we couldn’t drive into the area), and the St. Peter Primacy & Mount of Beatitudes Churches–both of which were closed. So we drove on to Capernaum, and I’m so glad we did! It was so beautiful and wonderful.
On to Capernaum! Our wonderful moms at the gates.
The octagonal church is vaulted above Simon Peter’s house.
Octagonal Church above St. Peter’s home. The gates surround the plexiglass window that allows you to see below into the center of his home.
Mosaic of the Savior, Octagonal church, Capernaum.
Peter’s home. After going to the synagogue, Jesus and the disciples went over to Peter’s house. There, his mother-in-law was “sick of a fever”. Jesus healed her, and she ministered to Him.
I walked over from the synagogue ruins to the house of Peter, reading this story to Yummy. (Mark 1:29-38)
Basalt ruins from the 1st century village next to the 2nd/3rd century “White Synagogue” made of limestone.
Where the “White Synagogue” was built on the remains of the previous (perhaps 1st Century? Maybe later) synagogue.
White Synagogue, Capernaum.
Basalt foundation of the older synagogue.
Yummy being dramatic.
I love this little tree and seating area. We were able to sit and enjoy the breeze coming off the sea, listen to the waves, and talk and sing.
Yummy, Sea of Galilee. Capernaum.
The beautiful sea. It is not hard to imagine Christ and His disciples, sitting under trees, enjoying the natural air conditioning (the shores of the Sea of Galilee are HOT–it was 105 degrees that week), and listening to Jesus’ sermons. I can see why Christ loved this area.
Journaling and thinking.
I love this family.
Em at the cool tree that kept us shaded.
I love this man.
Capernaum beach, Galilee.
Listening to the “shush-shush-shush” of the waves…one of the possible reasons for the name “Chinneroth” (harp) may be because of the sound the waves make as they hit the shore.
Singing. We sang “Nearer, my God, to Thee” and “Master the Tempest is Raging” and “Teach Me to Walk in the Light” here.
It’s not all prayers and devotionals and singing. Feats of strength were also done. Hebs, Capernaum beach, Galilee.
Not to be outdone, Gee got in on the action. Naturally, they have super strong arms, so they could hang there for quite a while.
Zee stole my phone and took a selfie. I’m making this his profile picture from now on.
Statue of Peter, holding the keys of the priesthood.
I love this statue. Look at the figure’s feet. “When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or naked, and clothed thee?” Matt. 25:38.
Capernaum was probably one of my favorite places thus far–I really was able to sit, think, sing, and feel the Spirit there.
That evening, Zee, Yum, and I went in search of a beach to swim in the Sea of Galilee. It was harder than you might think–almost every beach is either marked “No Swimming” (with tons of people happily swimming away) or private with pretty high fees. But finally we located a public beach about 10 minutes away (Cinnabar Beach). It is allegedly a “quiet” beach, which means you aren’t supposed to play your music out loud. This was followed about as well as parking or swimming rules are followed around here–which is to say, not at all. Sadly, this beach (and many of the other beaches along the Sea of Galilee, apparently) was full of garbage. Cigarette butts, broken glass, wrappers and bags and chicken bones and…it was pretty gross. But we finally found a fairly decent spot, and took a lovely, sweet, cooling dip in the Kinneret!
Yum and Zee, sunset, Cinnabar Beach.
She is so incredibly cute!
Gravel beach with gorgeous limestone pebbles and black basalt. Cinnabar Beach, Galilee
I’m not even a sedimentologist, and I love these gravels!
My cuties, sunset, Sea of Galilee.
This was so funny. Yummy and I started to take a selfie, and didn’t notice the “danger” behind us.
And there he is!
I love this family!
Zee the troublemaker
Yummy of the funny faces (and there is an ice cream truck in the background that was playing, bizarrely enough, “O Susanna”.
Drama in the Galilee
Photo credit: Yummy
The Sea of Galilee