Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mount of the Beatitudes

In the morning, we loaded up the bus and headed to The Mount of the Beatitudes.  It was a beautiful drive.
This picture is one I took from the bus on our way.  I just love that row of trees.

When we arrived we saw some lovely gardens around the area.

This is the dome of the church built on this site.

Around the church and garden were these stones with the Beatitudes written in Latin.

This is another view of the church.

We gathered in a space with stone benches to discuss what occurred here.  Dan spoke to us and we read Scripture.  We also discussed the situation of the people who may have heard Jesus speak these words.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of eveil against you falsely, on account of Me.
Rejoice, and be glad for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
Matthew 5: 3-12 NASB

It was an incredible moment to be near the place where Jesus spoke these words.
These two pictures are of the same scene.  You see the Sea of Galilee to the left and somewhere in that green area is where Jesus is believed to have spoken the Beatitudes.  If you look toward the back of the picture, you see several mountains.  There seem to be two mountains towards the front a bit and Jesus would have walked in the valley between those mountains toward Galilee after he was almost pushed off a cliff by the people of Nazareth.  In Matthew the Beatitudes are given towards the beginning of Jesus' ministry.
A Latin rendering of Matthew 5:7.

We were able to go inside the church that was built there.  Here is the entrance.  I loved the iron work on the door.

The beautiful dome inside the church.  Around the dome on each of the stained glass windows is a beatitude in Latin.

Beatitudes written

The alter in the church.

The other side of the stained glass windows with the Beatitudes.

Outside the church was a sort of porch with columns that wound around the building.
More friends from the trip! :)

I just love gerber daisies!!  It was fun to see one here, too.

The beautiful Sea of Galilee.  I couldn't get over it!
Another Beatitude in English this time.

More sweet friends!

It rained a lot on this day and one thing I kept thinking was how the different types of weather were part of the journey for Jesus and his disciples, too.  I realized that frequently when I read the gospels, I think of how dry and dusty it must have been, so it was interesting to experience Israel during a cooler rainy season and to know that that weather pattern is part of life here, too.

Hope you are all having a great weekend!  We are off to Caesarea Philippi next! :)

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