Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Our trip to the Holy Land was wonderful, but I am so glad to be home!
Many have asked me to name my favorite part of the trip. That is an easy answer: I loved Galilee! Galilee is where 90% of Jesus’ life and ministry took place. It was in Galilee that he called ordinary men to be his disciples. It was in Galilee where he took a moonlight stroll over the sea. Galilee was where Jesus did most of his public ministry.
Now the thing about Galilee that stood out most for me was how it looked. Growing up in Sunday School I had always pictured Israel to be a dry, barren, desert-like place. I imagined it was a land of sand and rocks and not much else. That was certainly how the Sunday School books presented the Holy Land most of the time!
But wipe that image out of your mind when it comes to Galilee and northern Israel! Galilee is very green, full of grass, trees, and streams. The source of the Jordan River is in Galilee. In fact, we visited the beautiful Tel Dan Nature Reserve which will make you think you are in the mountains of Western North Carolina. You aren’t, but you are in the Golan Heights, which was won from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.
Galilee is green. When you think of green, you think of what? Perhaps growth is what comes to mind in this context.
What does green have to do with Lent? Well, if it’s practiced intentionally, Lent can be a time of growth. No doubt some of us these days feel as though we are in a spiritual desert. There are so many problems in our world and culture that we can feel lost in the negativity. So maybe this Lent what your soul really needs is a journey from the desert sands to the green of Galilee.
Maybe what you need is growth. This past Sunday I offered to spend time with anyone in our congregation who feels the need to strengthen his or her prayer life. I’ve already had one person take me up on the offer! For many, prayer is the single most important way we can unlock growth. Is that the need in your life? Call me.
Know that Lent is a time of deep grace. Growth awaits those with the courage to make the journey. Why? Because God can turn brown deserts into green hills. He does it every Lent. He does it every day