It’s been a year — almost to the date. And so, I’m revisiting the trip. Quite a journey! My pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Lent 2014. One year later, my journal entries take me back. I hope they give insight and meaning to your Lenten season this year.
Bread on our Journeys!
8 March 2014: So a new day. Yesterday was so amazing! (I’m one day behind on my posts of the pilgrimage, so just enjoy what is shared here!)
So many incredible moments here (in Galilee on 7 March 2014)! Such a beautiful country. And so moving to contemplate where Jesus grew up and played and rested and called and taught and healed and replenished himself with Peter and his friends and family. The backdrop of his life — this geography — is amazing! The meeting place of all the nations for rest is where he made his home during much of his ministry: Capernaum in the home of Peter. Capernaum, one of the wealthiest and largest towns in Galilee in his day, was at the northeast corner of Galilee. The meeting place of all nations — Jordan and Syria and Israel! It had to be a huge influence on his understanding of God being about peace — unity. Harmony with one another no matter what. The judgment that was in him was discernment based on that SHALOM. That absolute, wide-expanse of love!
And now . . . onto the Sea of Galilee!
So here we are on a boat on the Sea of Galilee! And the waves are a’rocken. But they were fishermen – on this very water! Certainly they experienced rough waters on this little lake before. I guess they weren’t all fishermen. So I could see how they were afraid.
(Later): As it turned out, we had to cut our boat ride short because a storm from the south suddenly swept in. Rain started – great big pellet kind of drops. It seemed the boat captain was afraid. He didn’t want us stuck out there. Neither did he want us (or his boat) injured!
When the storm started, I immediately was taken back to the last cruise I had been on. As we set sail on the ocean, that huge ship started rocking. I was on a massage table at the time – a bon voyage discount. I remember fighting it at first. Then relaxing into the waves – rocking with the water instead of against it. Deepening myself in trust. In those moments, I grew certain that the God who created the universe — the God who created me — held us all. Held me. . . . No matter the storms that blow. No matter how much that boat today on the Sea of Galilee was rocking, we were held. No need to fear. I totally can imagine Jesus falling asleep in that trust. Secure. Because gently the waves remind us that God holds us through it all. In tender love, in strong bonds that never, ever, ever will let us go. Gently we can relax into the gift of those rocking waves — those sudden storms of life.
O you of little faith, why EVER do you fear?
God, hold me each step of the way.
And now: onto the Church of the Primacy of Peter. “Then Peter said,
‘I am going fishing . . .’” (John 21)
Lord, after your resurrection, here it was you came – as a surprise – to greet your wayward disciples. To feed them. To love them. To get them ready to be sent. What did they feel in those moments after your horrible death and rumored resurrection? What did they think? Were they ready? Did they believe themselves equipped?
You Lord, you as the Risen Christ, came to them – as surprise. Unrecognized at first. And to them you said: “Come. Eat. Be nourished. Now go in our love for one another. It’s not just about me — or for me. It’s for the benefit of my sheep. Go: feed them. Tend them. Love them. Show them.”
So easily we can be distracted. Caught up in that which is around us. Nearly trampled by that which is other than your command to serve. Yet you show up. . . . After you feed us, you send us. And it’s not just a one-time taste meant to fill us up for good. Not a one-time meal and that’s enough. Instead: over and over again. It’s a cycle. “Rest with me as you eat. Feed. Now go. . . . Eat. Feed. Go. Eat. Feed. Go.”
From this beach you sent them on a journey in which they would never ever be the same. From here you send us all on a journey to be changed. To change. To falter and then to get back up again – like you after crucifixion: again (thanks be to God) you stood up!
This might as well be the beach called Genesis: the start of new beginnings. This might as well be my spot. A fresh start. A re-freshed beginning.
Thank you God for the food of this place. The nourishment of fellow pilgrims who also are sent to serve on your behalf in this world. Thank you for simple gifts: remembrance. Bread. Wine. Vision. Beautiful inspiration. A chance to hear and begin again.
Lord, you did not shame them in their distraction – their return to fishing after your death. In their fear. In their doubt: you met them where they had wandered. Then you simply asked: “Is there love in that heart for me? . . . That is enough! Go: feed others who need the same kind of sustenance for their walk in this world. I will be with you. I will surprise. I will be revealed. I will provide. It shall be enough.”
All shall be well . . . thanks be to God!
(Copyright JMN-2015. All rights reserved.)