Monday, June 6, 2011

Nazareth Finale

Hi Friends!!  Happy Monday!
I had a fantastic weekend and hope you did the same.  My cousin's wedding was this weekend and I was so honored to be a part of the special day!  Don't fret -- a post will be forthcoming soon with lots of fun pictures!! 
Today, I thought we would finish the posts on Nazareth.  After the Church of the Annunciation we stopped for a bite of lunch.  This lunch break was not an ordinary one as we wove our way throught the markets of Nazareth to arrive at a fabulous pizza place.  Little did I know this single file line weaving our way through the narrow streets would be training for when we arrived in Jerusalem!  I just remember thinking that I must keep up with the person in front of me because if I get lost, I will have no idea where I am!  Fortunately, we all stayed together and at least were able to "window shop" as we quickly passed all of the vendors. :)
I was fascinated by the lights strung across the street and the beautiful stone building.  As I stood in the cobblestone street trying to capture this image at the perfect angle, I quickly realized that my entire group was up ahead, so I hurriedly put down my camera and found my spot in line to wind my way through the marketplace.

The adventurous route was certainly worth the fresh baked delights we were about to enjoy.

And we were not alone in our enjoyment of this pizzeria!  In fact, we had to be careful where we stood to enjoy our lunch for fear of unwanted additional toppings...

The oven that turned dough, pesto, and cheese into bubbling masterpieces!

 I love Coca-Cola or as my Grandaddy always called it, Coke Classic.  I can just hear him saying it in my mind with the pronounced way he said his "s" sounds.  Don't you just love those memories that take you back into the presence of a loved one who has gone on before?  I miss him so much and would have loved to have heard his commentary on my trip as I shared each memory.
 I was fascinated at the Hebrew on the Coke can.  :)

Oh, the yumminess!!  Is your mouth watering?  Mine is!
The pizza was very hot, so many of us ended up folding it to eat it more easily, so we could hold our drink in the other hand.  Also, I will mention that the olive oil on the pizza is quite geneous and I may or may not have "anointed" my camera more than once! :) 

Enjoying a tasty local treat!

Our view during our al fresco lunch.

Our next stop was to St. Gabriel Greek Orthodox church.  It is here that the Greek Orthodox Church says that Mary's well is located where they believe Gabriel appeared to her.

Outside the church

A well outside the church, but not Mary's well. 

Beautiful candles representing prayers lifted to God.

Lovely stonework

Interior with beautiful frescos

A beautiful chandelier

Painted ceiling frescos

More interior photos

A painting of Gabriel appearing to Mary with the Scripture below in multiple languages.

Closeup of the image

More detail
The hallway leading to the well

Another image with flash this time

Beautiful tiles along the hallway

Artwork portraying this moment in Scripture.

Another piece of art depicting the Scriptural reference.

The well

An icon of Mary and Jesus by the well

It was amazing to be that close to another potential location where Mary encountered Gabriel.  I also found myself wondering how many other days Mary may have journeyed to the same well before this incredible encounter on this day.  I wondered what all must have been running through her mind as she took part in what was probably a daily task for her of drawing water from the well, but how this day was so different than all the other times before.  I also wondered how many times she returned to the well following Gabriel's visit and what was her experience like then.  Luke 1:28 does not specify a location for this encounter, so we don't know if it was in a house or by a well or where it was, but the critical element is that it occurred.  This text leads me to rethink my ordinary day-to-day tasks in a new way and to recognize that God may use something that is part of our everyday existence to be transformative.  Our VBS curriculum at my church this summer is Hometown Nazareth and one of the things the children will be asked to do throughout the week is to write down "God sightings" or ways they have seen God at work.  I might have to start my own list to remind me to look deeper in the everyday for what God may be revealing to me.

After St. Gabriel Church we walked to Nazareth Baptist School.  I was so intrigued to learn about the school, which is a top rated private school in Israel.   Feel free to visit the link for more information about this amazing school.  When we arrived to meet one of our professors who had been visiting with school administrators, school had just let out and it was so fun to see the children playing.

The school is located right next to the Baptist Church Nazareth and a link to the church is also listed on the school's website.

The beautiful church bell

Cross at the top of the church

Nazareth was a powerful part of my journey, especially since it was such a familiar biblical location.  We loaded our bus and as soon as we were on board, the rain began pouring again.  I was so glad to be inside the bus!  Then, off we went to Sephoras, the traditional home of Mary's parents (not to be confused with Sephora, another incredible site, but one I did not see once while in Israel :)).  We will journey to Sephoras next time. :)  Hope you have a fabulous week!

1 comment:

  1. like most of these posts on your trip, this one gave me chills! i love the thought of encountering God in our every day tasks. it makes me wonder how often i miss out on His calling to me through these tasks because i get 'busy' and don't stop to consider what He is doing. love this! keep them coming! :)


Thanks so much for stopping by! I love reading your comments. :)