Mount Carmel, Megiddo, Sepphoris, Nazareth Village

It’s the evening of a very full day for us.  Last night’s stay at Dan Caesarea was restful, but we were up early and on the road by 8.  We wound our way up to the top of Mount Carmel – the highest spot, where a small Discalced Carmelite Monastery stands.  We were unsure of whether it would be open or not because we just heard in the news last night that The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem has shut its doors to protest a new tax policy.  Our guide thought it was possible that Christian churches across the Holy Land would unite and lock their doors.  When we arrived at the monastery and the gate was locked there was a moment of small panic until we realized we were there 15 minutes before it was open to the public.  This gave us an opportunity to tromp about on some surrounding trails until we were finally let in.  We climbed up to the rooftop where we got a stunning view of the land.  This happened a lot today (spectacular views) but this view was accompanied by another mini-sermon from Cameron.  Lucky for you, I recorded the whole thing and took a panorama of our view.  Here’s a link that you should be able to click and listen:

Cameron’s mini-sermon has sat with me the rest of today as I’ve considered the contrast between Baal and God.  This showdown on Mount Carmel was all about the Baal prophets showing Elijah who Baal was – this god of lightning and fertility.  Instead, we meet who God is – the God whose Word brings light and life.

Our next stop was Har Megiddo…say it fast…it sounds like…Armageddon!  This site is an interesting archaeological site, where one can see the layers upon layers of civilizations that were built one on top of the other.  There are parts of the hill that have been cut away, to expose these layers.  It’s one of those important sites that some students find fascinating and others could rather look at the view overlooking the lush, green valley.  The highlight of this stop was our steep descent into a waterway built by King Ahab.   

After lunch, we drove to nearby Sepphoris.  This place name does not show up in the Bible, but its close approximation to Nazareth, all but guarantees that Jesus walked on the very road that we walked on, today.  Someone had made the comment today about how real and alive everything is getting.  It’s so true – it’s a strange feeling to put my hand on the road and know that a couple millennia ago, Jesus’ feet could have touched that very spot.  

Our final stop today was Nazareth Village.  This village is a replica of a 1st century village – something like what Jesus would have experienced.  I really liked being able to contrast Meggido and Nazareth Village on the same day.  As one of the students mentioned, it is sometimes difficult to imagine what it all looked like, when you’re looking at a pile of rocks.  But then to walk into this operating village, it doesn’t take long to get an idea of how people dressed or what they did to occupy their time.  It’s a really great snapshot for students to see what it looked like or how certain things work.

Newsletter Signup

All the latest Mile Two News