Reflection: The Sea of Galilee
Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea -for they were fisher-men. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me…” As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John… Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee…, and fol-lowed him.
On our trip to Palestine we visited many places we read about in the Gospels. But being a hiker and enjoying the outdoors, I had a difficult time appreciating the places because buildings were constructed over them.
It was on the shore of the Sea of Galilee that I most felt the closeness of Jesus. Our group had taken a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and I had been surprised at the size of the lake. It was much smaller than I had imagined. But it was after the boat docked, and as we were walking on the shore, that I looked back and saw the boat and remembered Jesus waking on that very shore. I remembered him saying to the fishermen, “Follow me.” Peter, Andrew, James and John left everything and followed him.
I imagined the power of Jesus’ words as he spoke to them. I imagined the crowds gathered along the shore to hear Jesus. Not only did Jesus associate with fishermen, but also social outcasts, prostitutes, and tax collectors. His message of love, justice, and peace would outrage the religious leaders of his time. Feed the hungry, visit those in prison, love our enemies — these words are so very important today.
As I recall the towering wall separating Bethlehem and Jerusalem, I wonder if there will ever be peace in the Holy Land. Then I think of Pastor Mitri Raheb at Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, and the movement he has started there to educate the people so that they can have a better life. What a powerful example of someone who is fol-lowing Jesus.
What about our own community? What can we do to follow Jesus?
O God, give us the courage to follow Jesus. Amen.