The Pilgrimage Begins
The Orthodox Christian Network pilgrims arrived safely in Tel Aviv yesterday afternoon – - a group of 50 attendees of a wide range of ages and backgrounds. Led by Father Chris (Ft. Lauderdale and Executive Director of the OCN) and Father Steve (Washington, DC) – - and the group is evenly split between both locations.
Prayers were said upon departure and arrival, and we are using the study guide that was prepared for each attendee. Upon landing, we boarded the tour bus to Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee. Our book notes that Christ and “his apostles would have come near it many times, whenever they were sailing or fishing.” “After the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the Jews fled north, looking for a center for Jewish life and began to settle in Tiberias.”
As we are just getting up in Tiberias, today’s journey takes us to Capernaum and the River Jordan. We will be driving to the Mountain of Beatitudes “where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount and where the Lord’s Prayer was said for the first time.” In addition, we will be going to the Church of the Multiplication of Fishes and Loaves. “It is here that the miracle of the loaves and fish took place.”
For me, and for many I am sure, the magnitude of following in Christ’s footsteps is just beginning to set in. I am always astonished how small the geography is, where most of the Biblical events occurred. In 2014, two millennia after Christ’s birth, our lives continue to be transformed by Christianity. If you are reading this from North America, 5,000 miles away, and 2,000 years later, our humble group looks forward to reporting to you our thoughts, feelings, and prayers.