Nazareth

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary.”  Luke 1:26-27

Our first glimpse of Nazareth came when we went up to Mt. Tabor to see where Jesus was transfigured.  A beautiful city on a hillside up in the north of Israel.  We came to Nazareth on the last day of the pilgrimage, after having spent several days in Jerusalem and then about three in the Galilee area.  I will write more about Galilee later, but suffice to say, I wish I could have spent about a month there.

We had just visited the church commemorating the wedding at Cana, and drove along slowly in traffic to Nazareth, as it was a Friday and the Sabbath would start soon (meaning that all the observant Jews needed to be home by sundown).  Nazareth seemed to be a meandering city to me, much like the other old cities in Israel.  They are not built with cars and buses in mind, they grow up out of the landscape.

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Nazareth

Yet it was quite a modern looking city and demonstrated lots of opinions and good looking shops.

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Espresso bar in Nazareth
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A warning to Christians near the Church of the Annunciation

Then we came to the Church of the Annunciation, which was dedicated on Pastor Matt’s actual birthday.  It is a beautiful church, with two stories.

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The Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth
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Top floor of the Church of the Annunciation
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Bottom floor of the Church of the Annunciation
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Excavations of the old town of Nazareth at the Church of the Annunciation
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The door to the church, showing images throughout Jesus’ life

IMG_1836 IMG_1837Incorporated into the bottom floor is some of the old town of Nazareth.   And then, outside, is more excavations of Nazareth.  I wish we had had a few more hours to explore this church, but we needed to get back to Tel Aviv so some of our pilgrims could catch a flight.

Our devotion at the Church of the Annunciation was Luke 1:26-38.  We sat outside, our last moment of the pilgrimage, and read this beautiful passage “For nothing is impossible with God,” and thought about the trials that God has brought us through and is bringing us through.  We thought about all we had been through on the pilgrimage.  It was the beginning for Mary and for Jesus’ earthly life, and it was a good place for us to end.

Coming soon: Ein Kerem

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