Seeing Jesus Anew on the Sea of Galilee

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1 & 14

     If I were asked what words have had the greatest impact on my life, I would be quick to answer, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” I learned those words through a simple children’s song that’s packed with enormous theological truth. “Jesus Loves Me,” written by two sisters, Anna and Susan Warner, has had a profound influence on young and old alike since its publication in the late 1800’s.

     My faith has pivoted on those simple words since childhood.

     Those words form the foundation on which my life has been built.

     Those words have lighted my life’s darkest nights.

     Those words have motivated my best life choices. And, if honest instead of pious, I admit I’ve ignored those words when making some of my ‘not-so-good’ choices.

     Those words have been the compass guiding me through forests of uncertainty.

     I’ve sung these words to my two daughters.

     I still sing these words to my two youngest grandchildren. All five have heard them sung by their Grandma Susie.

     I’ve requested these simple words will one day be sung at my memorial service.

     Yes, I know Jesus loves me, and I know I love Jesus!

     My love for Jesus has never felt more real than it did when we spent time recently in the region of the Sea of Galilee in Israel.

     For the past several weeks I’ve been writing blog posts about our Holy Land trip in early autumn 2016. I’ve talked about our time in Tel Aviv, a progressive hub of commerce. Several of my posts discussed powerful moments we spent in Jerusalem, an ancient city, crucial to three major world religions. I attempted to describe the personal impact of Jerusalem in my faith journey, knowing my attempt to capture our Jerusalem experience with appropriate words is absolutely inadequate.

     When I was a kid, I categorized and then prioritized food placed on my plate. I always saved my favorite food until last. Although every part of our trip to Israel was important and nourishing, the best part for me was the three days we spent in the Galilean region. I’ve decided to save posts describing those days until last.

     During the month of December, a season of Advent when Christians anticipate celebrating the birth of the Messiah, I want to share with you some of the ways in which Jesus became more vibrant than ever to me—ways in which my perspective of The Word [who] became flesh and made his dwelling among humankind expanded.

     In the region of the Galilee where Jesus walked with friends, healed the sick and restored dignity to the disenfranchised, I caught a fresh glimpse of his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

     I hope you’ll want to come along with me to the region of Galilee.

Sue Reeve

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Sunrise on the Sea of Galilee

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