THE SEA OF GALILEE
The Sea of Galilee is actually a freshwater lake near Capernaum. The Jordan River connects the Sea of Galilee (northern end) to the Dead Sea (southern end). Jesus performed many miracles here, but for today this is our Place of the Heart because this is where Jesus called his first disciples and also where he walked on the water.
Light the Prophecy and Bethlehem Candles.
Matthew 4:18-22 (NRSV)
As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
Matthew 14:25-33 (NRSV)
And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
The Sea of Galilee is a Place of the Heart where we are given vivid examples of how Jesus calls us to a loving relationship built on deep trust and reliance. Peter, Andrew, James and John somehow sensed that they could not refuse this man Jesus, who was calling them to follow. Somehow they knew that they could entrust their future to the One who told them to leave everything behind. Impetuous Peter even trusted Jesus enough to begin his walk on the water (at least initially)!
Jesus was, and is, our reliable, trustworthy, unfailing Guide. We can count on Christ- always. As we keep growing in our reliance and trust in him, as we keep learning to lean on him for help and guidance, our love for him grows as well.
Prayer: Jesus, you have called us, too. Call us to new adventures and even risk-taking steps, and help us to answer in faithful obedience and trust, as we grow in love for you. Amen.